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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 20th October 2017 06:26
I use enormous amount of data and information in my attempts to understand the present turmoil in which the Ummah of Rasoolallah SAW finds herself.

Most of the time the raw data and information articles create block in understanding the point I am trying to make. Many times it leaves brothers and sisters puzzled as to what issue has prompted me to post an article.

Yet If I do not post the articles and the corresponding links then it becomes impossible even for me to trace them.

My solution is to collect the input material in this thread so that in all of my other threads I can focus upon my commentary.

(I have decided to dump here the links on which I can not immediately comment.) (April 24, 2018)

(1) Pradip on Colonel Sahab

(2) Kumar Ketkar on Modi-Shah

(3) Hinduism vs Hindutva

(4) Did Muslims Do Anything?

(5) Christian Terrorism

(6) Shashi Tharoor on Saffron

(7) Modi threatens Soniand Rahul during Karnataka campaign 2018

(8) Does AMU suffer because of its middle name?

(9) Riazur Rahman Khan Sherwani on Jinnah

(10) Jordan Peterson : One, Two

(11) Indian Army Funds Crunch

(12) Indian Nuclear Tests Data

(13) BJP might come back in 2019: Swaminathan S. Aiyar
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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 20th October 2017 06:28
Was Sir Syed Communal?

Source: Sir Syed Ahmed on the Present State of Indian Politics, Consisting of Speeches and Letters Reprinted from the "Pioneer" (Allahabad: The Pioneer Press, 1888), pp. 29-53. Modern facsimile version (Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 1982). Translator unknown. The text presented here has been slightly edited for classroom use, and its punctuation slightly improved, by FWP. Paragraph numbers, and some paragraph breaks, and annotations in square brackets have been added by FWP. The original spelling have been retained; all the footnotes are original. NOTE: In virtually every place where the Pioneer's translation says "nation," the Urdu word is actually "qaum," or "community."
*Sir Sayyid's introductory speech on these issues: Lucknow, 1887*
*The Urdu text of this 1888 speech*

AT MEERUT [1888]

At the invitation of the Mahomedans of Meerut, Sir Syed Ahmed went to that town on the 14th of March [1888], and delivered two lectures, one on education and one on politics. He was met at the station by the leading Mahomedan gentlemen of Meerut, who raised a cheer as the train drew up at the platform, and threw flowers over him when he alighted. Carpets and red cloth were at once spread along the ground from the railway-carriage to the road. The first lecture was given at 8 A.M. in the durbar tent of the Meerut fair. Four hundred and fifty chairs had been placed in the tent, and not only were all filled, but a large number of people had to stand. The audience rose as the Syed entered. An address was first read, after which Sir Syed Ahmed delivered his first lecture which lasted an hour and twenty minutes, and was received with rapt attention. It was devoted to the condition of the Mahomedans and to the need of education; and was very effective, the audience being, at times, moved to tears. Next day in the evening he gave his second lecture on politics. As the Nauchandi Fair was at its height, the audience was very crowded, not less than seven or eight hundred being present, including many people belonging to the Delhi, [[30]] Saharanpur, Moradabad, and other districts. The audience was mainly Mahomedan, all the great Raïses being present, and great appreciation of the speech was manifested. At the close three cheers were given for the lecturer, and then the people adjourned to another tent where a tea-party was held in honour of Sir Syed, some hundred and fifty people sitting down to the repast. The utmost enthusiasm prevailed, and at the close Maulvi Hashmat Ullah, Statutory Civilian, made a speech, expressing the prevailing sentiment, and thanking the Syed for the great service he had rendered the Mahomedans. The political speech was as follows:--

I think it expedient that I should first of all tell you the reason why I am about to address you on the subject of tonight's discourse. You know, gentlemen, that, from a long time, our friends the Bengalis have shown very warm feeling on political matters. Three years ago they founded a very big assembly, which holds its sittings in various places, and they have given it the name "National Congress." We and our nation gave no thought to the matter. And we should be very glad for our friends the Bengalis to be successful, if we were of the opinion that they had by their education and ability made such progress as rendered them fit for the claims they put forward. But although they are superior to us in education, yet we have never admitted that they have reached that level to which they lay claim to have attained. Nevertheless I have never, in any article, or in any speech, or even in conversation [[31]] in any place, put difficulties or desired to put difficulties in the way of any of their undertakings. It has never been my wish to oppose any people or any nation who wish to make progress, and who have raised themselves up to that rank to which they wish to attain and for which they are qualified. But my friends the Bengalis have made a most unfair and unwarrantable interference with my nation, and therefore it is my duty to show clearly what this unwarrantable interference has been, and to protect my nation from the evils that may arise from it. It is quite wrong to suppose that I have girded up my loins for the purpose of fighting my friends the Bengalis; my object is only to make my nation understand what I consider conducive to its prosperity. It is incumbent on me to show what evils would befall my nation from joining in the opinions of the Bengalis: I have no other purpose in view.

The unfair interference of these people is this — that they have tried to produce a false impression that the Mahomedans of these Provinces agree with their opinions. But we also are inhabitants of this country, and we cannot be ignorant of the real nature of the events that are taking place in our own North-West Provinces and Oudh, however their colour may be painted in newspapers, and whatever aspect they may be made to assume. It is possible that the people of England, who are ignorant of the real facts, may be deceived on seeing their false representations; but we and the [[32]] people of our country, who know all the circumstances, can never be thus imposed on. Our Mahomedan nation has hitherto sat silent. It was quite indifferent as to what the Babus of Bengal, the Hindus of these Provinces, and the English and Eurasian inhabitants of India, might be doing. But they have now been wrongly tampering with our nation. In some districts they have brought pressure to bear on Mahomedans to make them join the Congress. I am sorry to say that they never said anything to those people who are powerful and are actually Raïses [nobles] and are counted the leaders of the nation; but they brought unfair pressure to bear on such people as could be subjected to their influence.

In some districts they pressed men by the weight of authority, in others they forced them in this way — saying that the business they had at heart could not prosper unless they took part; or they led them to suppose that they could not get bread if they held aloof. They even did not hold back from offering the temptation of money. Where is the man that does not know this? Who does not know who were the three or four Mahomedans of the North-West Provinces who took part with them, and why they took part? The simple truth is they were nothing more than hired men. (Cheers.) Such people they took to Madras, and having got them there, said, "These are the sons of Nawabs, and these are Raïses of such-and-such districts, and these are such-and-such great Mahomedans," whilst everybody knows how the men were bought. We [[33]] know very well the people of our own nation, and that they have been induced to go either by pressure, or by folly, or by love of notoriety, or by poverty. If any Raïs on his own inclination and opinion join them, we do not care a lot. By one man's leaving us our crowd is not diminished. But this telling of lies that their men are landlords and Nawabas of such-and-such places; and their attempt to give a false impression that the Mahomedans have joined them — this is a most unwarrantable interference with our nation. When matters took such a turn, then it was necessary that I should warn my nation of their misrepresentations, in order that others should not fall into the trap; and that I should point out to my nation that the few who went to Madras, went by pressure, or from some temptation, or in order to help their profession, or to gain notoriety; or were bought. (Cheers.) No Raïs from here took part in it.

This was the cause of my giving a speech at Lucknow [in 1887], contrary to my wont, on the evils of the National Congress; and this is the cause also of today's speech. And I want to show this: that except Badruddin Tyabji, who is a gentleman of very high position and for whom I have great respect, no leading Mahomedan took part in it. He did take part, but I think he made a mistake. He has written me two letters, one of which was after the publication of my Lucknow speech. I think that he wants me to point out those things in the Congress which are opposed to the interests of Mahomedans, in order that he may exclude them [[34]] from the discussion. But in reality the whole affair is bad for Mahomedans. However, let us grant that Badruddin Tyabji's opinion is different from ours; yet it cannot be said that his opinion is the opinion of the whole nation, or that his sympathy with the Congress implies the sympathy of the whole community. My friend there, Mirza Ismail Khan, who has just come from Madras, told me that no Mahomedan Raïs of Madras took part in the Congress. It is said that Prince Humayun Jah joined it. Let us suppose that Humayun Jah, whom I do not know, took part in it; yet our position as a nation will not suffer simply because two men stand aside. No one can say that because these two Raïses took part in it, that therefore the whole nation has joined it. To say that the Mahomedans have joined it is quite wrong, and is a false accusation against our nation. If my Bengali friends had not adopted this wrong course of action, I should have had nothing to do with the National Congress, nor with its members, nor with the wrong aspirations for which they have raised such an uproar. Let the delegates of the National Congress become the stars of heaven, or the sun itself — I am delighted. But it was necessary and incumbent on me to show the falsity of the impression which, by taking a few Mahomedans with them by pressure or by temptation, they wished to spread, that the whole Mahomedan nation had joined them. (Cheers.)

Gentlemen, what I am about to say is not only useful for my own nation, but also for my Hindu [[35]] brothers of these Provinces, who from some wrong notions have taken part in this Congress. At last they also will be sorry for it — although perhaps they will never have occasion to be sorry; for it is beyond the region of possibility that the proposals of the Congress should be carried out fully. These wrong notions which have grown up in our Hindu fellow-countrymen, and on account of which they think it expedient to join the Congress, depend upon two things. The first thing is this: that they think that as both they themselves and the Bengalis are Hindus, they have nothing to fear from the growth of their influence. The second thing is this: that some Hindus — I do not speak of all the Hindus but only of some — think that by joining the Congress and by increasing the power of the Hindus, they will perhaps be able to suppress those Mahomedan religious rites which are opposed to their own, and, by all uniting, annihilate them. But I frankly advise my Hindu friends that if they wish to cherish their religious rites, they can never be successful in this way. If they are to be successful, it can only be by friendship and agreement. The business cannot be done by force; and the greater the enmity and animosity, the greater will be their loss. I will take Aligarh as an example. There Mahomedans and Hindus are in agreement. The Dasehra/1/ and Moharrum/2/ fell together for three years, and no one knows what took place [that is, things remained quiet]. It is worth notice how, when an agitation was started against cow-killing, the [[36]] sacrifice of cows increased enormously, and religious animosity grew on both sides, as all who live in India well know. They should understand that those things that can be done by friendship and affection, cannot be done by any pressure or force.

If these ideas which I have expressed about the Hindus of these provinces be correct, and their condition be similar to that of the Mahomedans, then they ought to continue to cultivate friendship with us. Let those who live in Bengal 'eat up their own heads' [that is, involve themselves in difficulties]. What they want to do, let them do it. What they don't want to do, let them not do it. Neither their disposition nor their general condition resembles that of the people of this country. Then what connection have the people of this country with them? As regards Bengal, there is, as far as I am aware, in Lower Bengal a much larger proportion of Mahomedans than Bengalis. And if you take the population of the whole of Bengal, nearly half are Mahomedans and something over half are Bengalis. Those Mahomedans are quite unaware of what sort of thing the National Congress is. No Mahomedan Raïs of Bengal took part in it, and the ordinary Bengalis who live in the districts are also as ignorant of it as the Mahomedans. In Bengal the Mahomedan population is so great that if the aspirations of those Bengalis who are making so loud an agitation be fulfilled, it will be extremely difficult for the Bengalis to remain in peace even in Bengal. These proposals of the Congress are extremely inexpedient for the country, which is inhabited [[37]] by two different nations — who drink from the same well, breathe the air of the same city, and depend on each other for its life. To create animosity between them is good neither for peace, nor for the country, nor for the town.

After this long preface I wish to explain what method my nation — nay, rather the whole people of this country — ought to pursue in political matters. I will treat in regular sequence of the political questions of India, in order that you may have full opportunity of giving your attention to them. The first of all is this — In whose hands shall the administration and the Empire of India rest? Now, suppose that all English, and the whole English army, were to leave India, taking with them all their cannon and their splendid weapons and everything, then who would be rulers of India? Is it possible that under these circumstances two nations — the Mahomedans and the Hindus — could sit on the same throne and remain equal in power? Most certainly not. It is necessary that one of them should conquer the other and thrust it down. To hope that both could remain equal is to desire the impossible and the inconceivable. At the same time you must remember that although the number of Mahomedans is less than that of the Hindus, and although they contain far fewer people who have received a high English education, yet they must not be thought insignificant or weak. Probably they would be by themselves enough to maintain their own position. But suppose they were not. [[38]] Then our Mussalman brothers, the Pathans, would come out as a swarm of locusts from their mountain valleys, and make rivers of blood to flow from their frontier in the north to the extreme end of Bengal. This thing — who, after the departure of the English, would be conquerors — would rest on the will of God. But until one nation had conquered the other and made it obedient, peace could not reign in the land. This conclusion is based on proofs so absolute that no one can deny it.

Now, suppose that the English are not in India, and that one of the nations of India has conquered the other, whether the Hindus the Mahomedans, or the Mahomedans the Hindus. At once some other nation of Europe, such as the French, the Germans, the Portuguese, or the Russians, will attack India. Their ships of war, covered with iron and loaded with flashing cannon and weapons, will surround her on all sides. At that time who will protect India? Neither Hindus can save nor Mahomedans; neither the Rajputs nor my brave brothers the Pathans. And what will be the result? The result will be this: that foreigners will rule India, because the state of India is such that if foreign Powers attack her, no one has the power to oppose them. From this reasoning it follows of necessity that an empire not of any Indian race, but of foreigners, will be established in India. Now, will you please decide which of the nations of Europe you would like to rule over India? I ask if you would like Germany; whose subjects weep for heavy taxation and the stringency of their military [[39]] service? Would you like the rule of France? Stop! I fancy you would perhaps like the rule of the Russians, who are very great friends of India and of Mahomedans, and under whom the Hindus will live in great comfort, and who will protect with the tenderest care the wealth and property which they have acquired under English rule? (Laughter.) Everybody knows something or other about these powerful kingdoms of Europe. Everyone will admit that their governments are far worse — nay, beyond comparison worse — than the British Government. It is, therefore, necessary that for the peace of India and for the progress of everything in India, the English Government should remain for many ycars — in fact forever!

When it is granted that the maintenance of the British Government, and of no other, is necessary for the progress of our country, then I ask whether there is any example in the world of one nation having conquered and ruled over another nation, and that conquered nation claiming it as a right that they should have representative government. The principle of representative government is that it is government by a nation, and that the nation in question rules over its own people and its own land. Can you tell me of any case in the world's history in which any foreign nation, after conquering another and establishing its empire over it, has given representative government to the conquered people? Such a thing has never taken place. It is necessary for those who have [[40]] conquered us to maintain their Empire on a strong basis. When rulers and ruled are one nation, representative government is possible. For example, in Afghanistan, of which Amir Abdur Rahman Khan is the ruler, where all the people are brother-Afghans, it might be possible. If they want, they can have representative government. But to think that representative government can be established in a country over which a foreign race rules, is utterly vain, nor can a trace of such a state of things be discovered in the history of the world. Therefore to ask that we should be appointed by election to the Legislative Council is opposed to the true principles of government, and no government whatever, whether English or German or French or Russian or Musalman, could accept this principle. The meaning of it is this: "Abandon the rule of the country and put it in our hands." Hence, it is in no way expedient that our nation should join in and echo these monstrous proposals.

The next question is about the Budget. They say: "Give us power to vote on the Budget. Whatever expenses we may grant shall be granted, whatever expenses we do not grant shall not be granted." Now, consider to what sort of government this principle is applicable. It is suited to such a country as is, according to the fundamental principles of politics, adapted also for representative government. The rulers and the ruled must be of the same nation. In such a country the people have also the right of deciding matters of peace and war. [[41]] But this principle is not adapted to a country in which one foreign race has conquered another. The English have conquered India, and all of us along with it. And just as we made the country obedient and our slave, so the English have done with us. Is it then consonant with the principles of empire that they should ask us whether they should fight Burma or not? Is it consistent with any principle of empire? In the times of the Mahomedan empire, would it have been consistent with the principles of rule that, when the Emperor was about to make war on a Province of India, he should have asked his subject-peoples whether he should conquer that country or not? Whom should he have asked? Should he have asked those whom he had conquered and had made slaves, and whose brothers he also wanted to make his slaves? Our nation has itself wielded empire, and people of our nation are even now ruling. Is there any principle of empire by which rule over foreign races may be maintained in this manner?

The right to give an opinion on the Budget depends also on another principle, which is this: that in a country in which the people accept the responsibility for all the expenses of government, and are ready with their lives and property to discharge it — in such a country they have a right to give their opinion on the Budget. They can say; "Undertake this expense," or "Leave that alone." And whatever the expense of the State affairs, it is then their duty to pay it. For example in England, in [[42]] a time of necessity the whole wealth and property of everyone, from the Duke to the cobbler, is at the disposal of the Government. It is the duty of the people to give all their money and all their property to the Government, because they are responsible for giving Government all that it may require. And they say: "Yes, yes; take it! Yes; take it. Spend the money. Beat the enemy. Beat the enemy." These are conditions under which people have a right to decide matters about the Budget.

The principle that underlies the Government of India is of a wholly different nature. In India, the Government has itself to bear the responsibility of maintaining its authority; and it must, in the way that seems to it fittest, raise money for its army and for the expense of the empire. Government has a right to take a fixed proportion of the produce of the land as land-revenue, and is like a contractor who bargains on this income to maintain the empire. It has not the power to increase the amount settled as land-revenue. However great its necessity, it cannot say to the zamindars, "increase your contributions." Nor do the zemindars think that even in a time of necessity, Government has any right to increase its fixed tax on land. If at this time there were a war with Russia, would all the zemindars and taluqdars/3/ be willing to give double their assessment to Government? They would not give a pice/4/ more. Then what right have they to interfere and say, "So much should [[43]] be spent, and so much should not be spent"? The method of the British Government is that of all Kings and Asiatic Empires. When you will not, even in time of war, give a pice more of your land-revenue, what right have you to interfere in the Budget?

The real motive for scrutinising the Budget is economy. Economy is a thing of such a nature that everyone has a regard for it in his household arrangements. It is a crude notion that Government has no regard for economy and squanders its money; Government practises economy as far as possible. Our Government is so extremely miserly that it will not uselessly give anyone a single pice. Until great necessity arise and great pressure be brought to bear on it, it will not spend a pice. It has completely forgotten the generosity of the former Emperors. The Kings of later times presented poets and authors with estates and lakhs [hundreds of thousands] of rupees. Our Government does not spend a pice in that way. What greater economy can there be than this? Instead of rewards it gives authors copyright. That also it does after taking two rupees for registering. It writes a letter as a sanad [warrant], and says that for forty years, no other man may print the book. Print it, sell it, and make your profit: this is a reward to you from Government.

People look at the income of the Government and say it is much greater than that of former empires, but they don't think of the expenses of Government, and how much they have increased. [[44]] In the old days, a sword of fifteen or twenty rupees, a gun of ten or fifteen rupees, a card-board ammunition bag, and a coil of fuse was enough equipment for a soldier. Now look and see how the expenses of the army have increased in modern times, and what progress has been made in arms, and how they are daily improving, and the old ones becoming useless. If a new kind of gun or cannon be invented in France or Germany, is it possible for Government not to abandon all its old kinds of guns or cannon and adopt the new? When the expenses have grown so much, the wonder is how on earth Government manages to carry on its business on the small tax which it raises. (Cheers.) Perhaps many people will not like what I am going to say, but I will tell them openly a thing which took place. When after the Mutiny, the Hon'ble Mr. Wilson was Financial Minister, he brought forward a law for imposing a tax, and said in his speech that this tax would remain for five years only. An honourable English friend of mine showed me the speech and asked me if I liked it. I read it and said that I had never seen so foolish a Financial Minister as the Hon'ble Mr. Wilson. He was surprised. I said that it was wrong to restrict it to five years. The condition of India was such that it ought to be imposed forever. Consider for a moment that Government has to protect its friends the Afghans, and their protection is necessary. It is necessary for Government to strengthen the frontier. If in England there had been any need for strength[[45]]ening a frontier, then the people would themselves have doubled or trebled their taxes to meet the necessity. In Burma there are expenses to be borne, although we hope that in the future it will be a source of income. If under such circumstances, Government increase the salt-tax by eight annas per maund, is this thing such that we ought to make complaints? If this increase of tax be spread over everybody, it will not amount to half or quarter of a pice. On this to raise an uproar, to oppose Government, to accuse it of oppression — what utter nonsense and injustice! And in spite of this they claim the right to decide matters about the Budget!

When it has been settled that the English Government is necessary, then it is useful for India that its rule should be established on the firmest possible basis. And it is desirable for Government that for its stability it should maintain an army of such a size as it may think expedient, with a proper equipment of officers; and that it should in every district appoint officials in whom it can place complete confidence, in order that if a conspiracy arise in any place they may apply the remedy. I ask you, is it the duty of Government or not, to appoint European officers in its empire, to stop conspiracies and rebellions? Be just, and examine your hearts, and tell me if it is not a natural law that people should confide more in men of their own nation. If any Englishman tells you anything which is true, yet you remain doubtful. But when a man of your [[46]] own nation, or your family; tells you a thing privately in your house, you believe it at once. What reason can you then give why Government, in the administration of so big an empire, should not appoint, as custodians of secrets and as givers of every kind of information, men of her own nationality; but must leave all these matters to you, and say, "Do what you like"? These things which I have said are such necessary matters of State administration that whatever nation may be holding the empire, they cannot be left out of sight. It is the business of a good and just Government, after having secured the above-mentioned essentials, to give honour to the people of the land over which it rules, and to give them as high appointments as it can. But, in reality; there are certain appointments to which we can claim no right; we cannot claim the post of head executive authority in any zila./5/ There are hundreds of secrets which Government cannot disclose. If Government appoint us to such responsible and confidential posts, it is her favour. We will certainly discharge the duties faithfully and without divulging her secrets. But it is one thing to claim it as a right, and another for Government, believing us to be faithful and worthy of confidence, to give us the posts. Between these two things there is the difference between Heaven and Earth.

How can we possibly claim as a right those things on which the very existence and [[47]] strength of the Government depends? We most certainly have not the right to put those people in the Council whom we want, and to keep out those whom we don't want; to pass those laws that we want, and to veto those laws that we dislike. If we have the right to elect members for the Legislative Council, there is no reason why we should not have the right to elect members for the Imperial Council. In the Imperial Council thousands of matters of foreign policy and State secrets are discussed. Can you with justice say that we Indians have a right to claim those things? To make an agitation for such things can only bring misfortune on us and on the country. It is opposed to the true principles of government, and is harmful for the peace of the country. The aspirations of our friends the Bengalis have made such progress that they want to scale a height to which it is beyond their powers to attain. But if I am not in error, I believe that the Bengalis have never at any period held sway over a particle of land. They are altogether ignorant of the method by which a foreign race can maintain its rule over other races. Therefore reflect on the doings of your ancestors, and be not unjust to the British Government to whom God has given the rule of India; and look honestly and see what is necessary for it to do, to maintain its empire and its hold on the country. You can appreciate these matters; but they cannot who have never held a country in their hands nor won a victory.

Oh! my brother Musalmans! I again remind you that you have ruled [[48]] nations, and have for centuries held different countries in your grasp. For seven hundred years in India you have had Imperial sway. You know what it is to rule. Be not unjust to that nation which is ruling over you, and think also on this: how upright is her rule. Of such benevolence as the English Government shows to the foreign nations under her, there is no example in the history of the world. See what freedom she has given in her laws, and how careful she is to protect the rights of her subjects. She has not been backward in promoting the progress of the natives of India and in throwing open to them high appointments. At the commencement of her rule, except clerkships and kaziships [judgeships] there was nothing. The kazis of the pargana, who were called commissioners, decided small civil suits and received very small pay. Up to 1832 or 1833 this state of things lasted.

If my memory is not wrong, it was in the time of Lord William Bentinck that natives of India began to get honourable posts. The positions of Munsif, Subordinate Judge, and Deputy Collector, on respectable pay, were given to natives, and progress has been steadily going on ever since. In the Calcutta High Court a Kashmiri Pandit was first appointed equal to the English Judges. After him Bengalis have been appointed as High Court Judges. At this time there are perhaps three Bengalis in the Calcutta High Court, and in the same way some Hindus in Bombay and Madras. It was your bad fortune that there was for a long time no Mahomedan High Court Judge, but now [[49]] there is one in the Allahabad High court. (Cheers.) Native High Court Judges can cancel the decision of English Judges and Collectors. They can ask them for explanations. The subordinate native officers also have full authority in their posts. A Deputy Collector, a Sub-Judge, or a Munsif decides cases according to his opinion, and is independent of the opinion of the Judge or Collector. None of these things have been acquired by fighting or opposition. As far as you have made yourselves worthy of the confidence of Government, to that extent you have received high positions. Make yourselves her friends, and prove to her that your friendship with her is like that of the English and the Scotch. After this what you have to claim, claim — on condition that you are qualified for it.

About this political controversy, in which my Hindu brothers of this Province — to whom I have given some advice, and who have, I think, joined from some wrong notions — have taken part, I wish to give some advice to my Mahomedan brothers. I do not think the Bengali politics useful for my brother Mussalmans. Our Hindu brothers of these provinces are leaving us and are joining the Bengalis. Then we ought to unite with that nation with whom we can unite. No Mahomedan can say that the English are not "People of the Book." No Mahomedan can deny this: that God has said that no people of other religions can be friends of Mahomedans except the Christians. He who had read the Koran and believes it, he can know that our nation cannot expect [[50]] friendship and affection from any other people./6/ At this time our nation is in a bad state as regards education and wealth, but God has given us the light of religion, and the Koran is present for our guidance, which has ordained them and us to be friends.

Now God has made them rulers over us. Therefore we should cultivate friendship with them, and should adopt that method by which their rule may remain permanent and firm in India, and may not pass into the hands of the Bengalis. This is our true friendship with our Christian rulers, and we should not join those people who wish to see us thrown into a ditch. If we join the political movement of the Bengalis our narion will reap loss, for we do not want to become subjects of the Hindus instead of the subjects of the "People of the Book." And as far as we can we should remain faithful to the English Government. By this my meaning is not that I am inclined towards their religion. Perhaps no one has written such severe books as I have against their religion, of which I am an enemy. But whatever their religion, God has called men of that religion our friends. We ought — not on account of their religion, but because of the order of God — to be friendly and faithful to them. If our Hindu brothers of these Provinces, and the Bengalis of Bengal, and the Brahmans of Bombay, and the Hindu Madrasis [[51]] of Madras, wish to separate themselves from us, let them go, and trouble yourself about it not one whit. We can mix with the English in a social way. We can eat with them, they can eat with us. Whatever hope we have of progress is from them. The Bengalis can in no way assist our progress. And when the Koran itself directs us to be friends with them, then there is no reason why we should not be their friends. But it is necessary for us to act as God has said. Besides this, God has made them rulers over us. Our Prophet has said that if God place over you a black negro slave as ruler, you must obey him. See, there is here in the meeting a European, Mr. Beck. He is not black. He is very white. (Laughter.) Then why should we not be obedient and faithful to those white-faced men whom God has put over us, and why should we disobey the order of God?

I do not say that in the British Government all things are good. Nobody can say that there is any Government in the world, or has ever been, in which there is nothing bad, be the Government Mahomedan, Hindu, or Christian. There is now the Sultan of Turkey; who is a Mahomedan Emperor, and of whom we are proud. Even his Mahomedan subjects make complaints of his government. This is the condition of the Khedive of Egypt. Look at the Governments of Europe, and examine the condition of the Government of London itself. Thousands of men complain against Government. There is no Government with which everybody is satisfied.

[[52]] If we also have some complaints against the English Government, it is no wonderful thing. People are not even grateful to God for His government. I do not tell you to ask nothing from Government. I will myself fight on your behalf for legitimate objects. But ask for such things as they can give you, or such things to which, having due regard to the administration of the country, you can claim a right. If you ask for such things as Government cannot give you, then it is not the fault of Government, but the folly of the askers. But what you ask, do it not in this fashion — that you accuse Government in very action of oppression, abuse the highest officials, use the hardest words you can find for Lord Lytton and Lord Dufferin, call all Englishmen tyrants, and blacken columns on columns of newspapers with these subjects. You can gain nothing this way. God had made them your rulers. This is the will of God. We should be content with the will of God. And in obedience to the will of God, you should remain friendly and faithful to them. Do not do this: bring false accusations against them and give birth to enmity. This is neither wisdom nor in accordance with our holy religion.

Therefore the method we ought to adopt is this: that we should hold ourselves aloof from this political uproar, and reflect on our condition — that we are behindhand in education and are deficient in wealth. Then we should try to improve the education of our nation. Now our condition is this: that the Hindus, if they wish, can ruin us in an hour. [[53]] The internal trade is entirely in their hands. The external trade is in possession of the English. Let the trade which is with the Hindus remain with them. But try to snatch from their hands the trade in the produce of the county which the English now enjoy and draw profit from. Tell them: "Take no further trouble. We will ourselves take the leather of our country to England and sell it there. Leave off picking up the bones of our country's animals. We will ourselves collect them and take them to America. Do not fill ships with the corn and cotton of our country. We will fill our own ships and will take it ourselves to Europe!" Never imagine that Government will put difficulties in your way in trade. But the acquisition of all these things depends on education. When you shall have fully acquired education, and true education shall have made its home in your hearts, then you will know what rights you can legitimately demand of the British Government. And the result of this will be that you will also obtain honourable positions in the Government, and will acquire wealth in the higher ranks of trade. But to make friendship with the Bengalis in their mischievous political proposals, and join in them, can bring only harm. If my nation follow my advice they will draw benefit from trade and education. Otherwise, remember that Government will keep a very sharp eye on you because you are very quarrelsome, very brave, great soldiers, and great fighters.

Source : Columbia University
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd October 2017 08:51
Can We Count Muslim casualties of World War I

World War 1 Casualties As A Percentage of Pre-War Population

June 14, 2015

WW1 Casualties

Map created by reddit user lanson15

The map above reveals a rather shocking aspect of the First World War. While most people in Western Europe and North America focus on the trench warfare in Northern France and Belgium, it shows that Western European countries were nowhere close to suffering the worst casualty rates in the war.

Instead, you have to look south to the country where the fighting began, Serbia. Depending on sources, Serbia’s death rate during the war could have been as high as 27.78% or up to 1.25 million people.

To put that into comparison here some World War I casualty figures as a percentage of prewar population from other countries (source: Wikipedia – note ranges given when sources do not agree):

Serbia: 16.67%-27.78% (750,000-1,250,000 people)
Ottoman Empire: 13.26%-15.36% (2,825,000-3,271,844 people)
Romania: 7.73%-8.88% (580,000-665,706 people)
France: 4.29%-4.39% (1,697,000-1,737,800 people)
German Empire: 3.39%-4.32% (2,198,420-2,800,720 people)
Austro-Hungarian Empire : 3.48%-4.05% (1,787,000-2,081,200 people)
Greece: 3.23%-3.67% (155,000-176,000 people)
Bulgaria: 3.41% (187,500 people)
Italy: 2.96%-3.49% (1,052,400-1,243,400 people)
UK: 1.79%-2.2% (826,746-1,012,075 people)
Belgium: 1.34%-1.95% (99,416-144,337 people)
Russian Empire: 1.62%-1.94% (2,840,000-3,394,369 people)
New Zealand: 1.52%-1.64% (16,711-18,053 people)
Montenegro: 0.6%-2.67% (3,000-13,325 people)
Portugal: 1.49% (89,222 people)
Australia: 1.24%-1.32% (59,330-62,081 people)
Canada: 0.81%-0.9% (58,639-64,997 people)
Newfoundland: 0.6%-0.79% (1,204-1,570 people)
South Africa: 0.12%-0.16% (7,121-9,592 people)
USA: 0.13% (117,465 people)
India: 0.02% (64,449-73,895 people)
Japan: 0.01% (300-4,661 people)

In terms of absolute numbers, both the Russia and the Ottoman Empires fared the worst, with potential deaths of over 3 million apiece and the end of both Empires. The German and Austro-Hungarian Empires would also cease to exist at the end of the conflict.

Overall, the war resulted in a combined 37 million military and civilian casualties of which 17 million were killed and a further 20 million wounded. A pointless conflict that need not have happened, yet had been predicted 36 years earlier by German’s then Chancellor Otto Von Bismark (1878):

Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal … A single spark will set off an explosion that will consume us all … I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where … Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off.

You can learn more about the First World War from the following books:

The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic About the Outbreak of World War I
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

Source : Brillaint Maps
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 26th October 2017 08:03
Muslims in Indian army

March 15, 2010

WE must not doubt the ability of the 1.2 million-strong Indian army to fight wars on two fronts, because one of its top commanders has told us so. Nor should we doubt that India has more Muslims than all of Pakistan, since the statement is routinely broadcast from New Delhi.

And no one should doubt India's secular democracy, since that has been its credo since independence. But we are unable to conclude that Muslims are well represented in the Indian army, because the official silence on this important issue is deafening. Omar Khalidi, an independent scholar at MIT who hails from India, probes this mystery deftly and lucidly.

In his new book, Khaki and Ethnic Violence in India, Khalidi points out that not only is the number of Muslims wearing Indian army fatigues not proportional to the share of Muslims in the Indian population, it is politically indeterminate and potentially minuscule.

Khalidi meticulously narrates the history of attempts to force the defence ministry to provide the number of Muslims in uniform to parliament. He says they have all been met with derision. At one point, a former defence minister, George Fernandes, said it was “anti-national” to count Muslims in the armed forces. Fernandes charged that anyone asking for such information was not only an enemy of India but a person who had failed to grasp the complexity of India's security concerns.

To make sure that no one would ever again raise that issue, he said the very act of asking the question would be an act of sedition. Another former defence minister, Pranab Mukherjee, stated in 2006 that military recruitment was based on merit and there was no discrimination in the services based on caste or religion. He added that no survey had been conducted to determine the religious identity of the soldiers nor would one be done in the future.

One wonders why questions about religion are asked in the census. Are they not an act of sedition?

When asked about the role of Muslims in the Indian army, two former army chiefs, Field Marshal Manekshaw and Gen Sundarji, reiterated the same 'party line'. Recruitment is based on merit and there is no discrimination in the ranks. In an interview with Khalidi, Manekshaw seemed to concede that Muslims were not proportionately represented in the army but said that was because they lagged in educational attainment, not because they were not sought out in recruitment.

No official statistics are available on the number of Muslims in the Indian army. However, Khalidi says that former Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav stated in the late 1990s that only one per cent of the Indian soldiers were Muslims. Maybe that is an underestimate. But even if we quintuple it, it is still a far cry from the number that existed once.

As twilight descended on the British Raj, the number of Muslims in the Indian Army was about 30 per cent. Just six years later, it had come down to two per cent, according to the minister of state for defence of the time. Prime Minister Nehru was very concerned and sought to boost the recruitment of Muslims.

To put things in perspective, according to the 1941 census, 23 per cent of Indians were Muslims. After partition in 1947, two-thirds of the Muslims resided in Pakistan but a third resided in India. The 1951 Indian census showed that there were 8.3 million Christians, 35 million Muslims and 304 million Hindus, making the share of Muslims about 10 per cent. By the time of the 2001 census, that share had risen to 13.4 per cent.

The presence of Muslims in the Indian army went in the opposite direction, from roughly two per cent in 1953 to roughly one per cent in the late 1990s. The first Indian army chief, Gen K.K. Cariappa, did not believe that Muslims would ever be loyal to India. Admittedly, most of the Muslims in the Indian army had opted for Pakistan. But over time that number should have risen. The decision of Maj-Gen Anis Ahmad Khan to migrate to Pakistan in the mid-1950s was entirely apolitical. But it was used by the hardliners in India to question the loyalty of all Muslims in uniform.

Contrary evidence was provided during the war of 1965 when Indian Muslims in the army received some of the highest military awards for gallantry. However, no Muslim in the Indian army ever made it past the rank of major-general and only eight ever made it that far. During the British Raj, Muslims and Sikhs were over-represented in the army compared to their shares in the population due to the martial races theory. That theory was shelved after Indian soldiers mutinied in 1857.

Since Muslim soldiers were in the vanguard of the revolt, the British had begun to distrust Muslims. However, the demands of the time during the First and Second World Wars once again opened the gates to recruiting them. Since soldiery had long been the dominant occupation of people living in the northwestern regions of India and since most of them were Muslims, the share of Muslims rose once again in the British Indian army.

However, the fear of the Muslims never fully receded from the colonial psyche. No Muslim regiment was allowed to come into being even though there were plenty of other ethnic regiments. That tradition of not having Muslim regiments continues today in the Indian army. Perhaps the tradition of distrust has outlived the British. In contrast to the slim share of Muslims in the Indian army, there are the Sikhs who account for about two per cent of the population. At partition, their share in the army was eight per cent. By the 1980s, it had risen to 13 per cent. Many rose to three-star rank and one became the army chief. Sikhs account for as much as 20 per cent of the officers.

And then there are the two microscopic minorities which account for less than a tenth of a million people in the population but which have produced as many two-star generals as the 150 million Muslims. It is hard to prove that the presence of the Muslims in the Indian army is low because of anti-Muslim sentiment in the Indian military establishment. But the evidence marshalled by Khalidi is very disturbing. The reluctance of the Indian authorities to investigate the issue only validates his concerns.

Source : The Dawn
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 26th October 2017 08:05
The Balfour Declaration


The Balfour Declaration Promised Lebanon and Jordan to the Jews, Too

As the First World War raged, the imperial powers raced to recognize Jewish self-determination. France put out its pro-Zionist statement five months before Balfour, while Britain worried that enemy Germany would also pre-empt it
Benjamin Pogrund
Oct 25, 2017 2:22 PM

Mr. and Mrs. Winston Churchill at Government House reception on March 28th 1921, Jerusalem with Emir Abdullah of Transjordan and Sir Herbert Samuel on steps at left of Churchill. Churchill, Lawrence & the Emir Abdullah. Mr. and Mrs. Winston Churchill at Government House reception on March 28th 1921, Jerusalem with Emir Abdullah of Transjordan and Sir Herbert Samuel on steps at left of Churchill. Library of Congress/Colony Photographer (Jerusalem)/Wikimedia Commons

The story of the Balfour Declaration is well-known: On 2 November 1917, in the midst of World War I, Britain's Foreign Secretary, Lord Balfour, signed a letter promising Jews a "national home" in Palestine.

That short letter is now celebrated by Jews and mourned by Arabs. Little-known, but recorded in scholarly books (notably by Benny Morris, in "Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999") are the intense intrigues of the time, with France five months ahead of Britain in issuing a pro-Zionist statement and Britain worried that the enemy, Germany, was going to do the same.

The war in Europe was bogged down in bloody and mud-filled trenches. But in the Middle East, the centuries-old Ottoman Empire, fighting alongside Germany, was coming apart. That November, British and other forces were driving Turkish soldiers and their German advisers out of Palestine.

The Middle East was crucial to Britain – both the oil in the emerging new states and also the Suez Canal, giving access to India and other colonies. Together with France, Britain was already deciding which new Middle East countries to create and control, leaving only Turkey as the rump of the empire.

At the same time, influential Jews in Britain were pressing their government to support Zionism, 20 years after Theodor Herzl gave voice to the goal of a state for Jews, to end the centuries of persecution.
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They were aided by fortuitous circumstances: Dr Chaim Weizmann was not only an eminent Russian-born scientist at Manchester University who gave inestimable help to Britain’s war effort by developing chemicals for munitions, but he was also president of the World Zionist Congress.
Lord Balfour Lord BalfourAgence RoI

A man of striking ability and charismatic personality, he was a friend and trusted confidant of the elite in Britain, ranging from C.P. Scott, editor of The Manchester Guardian (now The Guardian) who backed Zionist aspirations, to David Lloyd George, who became prime minister in December 1916, and Lord Balfour, his foreign secretary.

Across the Channel, the French foreign ministry thought Jews were influential in Russia, in the collapsing Tsarist regime, and also wanted Jewish support for a post-war French presence in Palestine.

On 4 June 1917 the French foreign ministry issued a statement that it approved a text presented to it by Zionists that "circumstances permitting, and the independence of the Holy Places being safeguarded... it would be a deed of justice and of reparation to assist, by the protection of the Allied Powers, in the renaissance of the Jewish nationality in the land from which the people of Israel were exiled so many centuries ago." It went on: "The French government cannot but feel sympathy for your cause, the triumph of which is bound up that of the Allies."

The French perhaps meant the statement to be mere words without a commitment to action. But the fact of it opened the way to Britain issuing its own statement of support for Zionism, especially as Lloyd George, with British imperialist interests at heart and determined to protect the Suez Canal area, wanted to keep out the French.

Palestine under British control or protection was desirable. He and other colleagues were also devout Christians who had fundamental beliefs derived from the Old Testament about the justice of the Jewish cause. Lord Balfour later explained that he and Lloyd George had been influenced "by the desire to give Jews their rightful place in the world; a great nation without a home is not right".

Not everyone agreed. Important contrary voices were heard: Lord Curzon told a Cabinet meeting that Palestine was mostly "barren and desolate... a less propitious seat for the future Jewish race could not be imagined". He did not seem to have said this out of concern for Jews for, as he also said, Zionism was "sentimental idealism, which would never be realised" and anyway "how could the Jews ever overcome the far more and stronger Arabs".
People gather in the streets of Tel Aviv after radio broadcasts announce UN plan for partition of Palestine and the new Jewish state, November 30, 1947. People gather in the streets of Tel Aviv after radio broadcasts announce UN plan for partition of Palestine and the new Jewish state, November 30, 1947.AP

The pro-Zionists, in the Cabinet and the foreign office, insisted on following on France’s example. They were joined by another highly influential leader, Jan Christiaan Smuts from South Africa. A general in the Boer forces fighting the British army in the Anglo-Boer War at the turn of the century, he now had the unusual distinction of being a colonial in the inner recesses of the British government, as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet.

Lloyd George and Balfour and others such as Winston Churchill, the Colonial Secretary, also believed that a declaration in favour of a Jewish state would bring Jewish influence and power worldwide to bear on the side of the Allies. They were concerned about keeping Russia on their side and thought Jewish influence in that country could help do this – which, given the violent anti-Semitism of the Tsarist regime, reveals their remarkable ignorance, or at best, naivete.

Also, in an astonishing irony in history, Britain's leaders were worried that Germany was about to issue a statement in support of a Jewish state in Palestine. This, they feared, could push German-born Jews in the United States, who had no allegiance to the Allied Powers, to influence the U.S. not to enter the war (this factor disappeared on 7 April 1917 when the US entered the war on the side of the Allies). They were, too, thoroughly alarmed at any prospect that Germany might gain a foothold in the Middle East area so vital to British strategic interests.

Out of this medley of factors came the Balfour Declaration, actually a brief letter. It was first submitted to President Woodrow Wilson of the United States, who did not object to it. Lord Balfour then sent it to Lord Rothschild, the head of Britain’s Zionist Federation:

"His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

Immediately, this became the charter of the Zionist movement, to transform the words of promise into reality. Success took less than 31 years: the state of Israel was created on 14 May 1948.

Later, in 1922, the League of Nations, the world body set up to ensure peace forever – that was the intention – sanctified the Middle East carve-up.
Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with Jordanian King Abdullah II Jordan's King Abdullah meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the royal palace in Amman, Jordan on July 27, 2010.Avi Ohayon

Britain was given a mandate for Palestine, with the aim of fulfilling the Balfour Declaration. But Winston Churchill was also negotiating with Arab leaders about their demands for land, and so he had the details redrafted: Britain was no longer obliged to foster a Jewish state east of the Jordan River. At the same time, Britain also surrendered land in the north of Palestine, handing it to France, which had been given a mandate for Lebanon.

The upshot was that in 1921 the land east of the Jordan River – forming 75 percent of Palestine – was hived off as Transjordan. It was meant to be temporary, to provide a haven for Abdullah, one of the Arabian princes at war with each other.

Weizmann protested, writing to Churchill to note that "the fields of Gilead, Moab and Edom, with the rivers Arnon and Jabbok are historically and geographically and economically linked to Palestine, and it is upon these fields, now that the rich plains of the north have been taken from Palestine and given to France, that the success of the Jewish National Home must largely rest..."

Yet other Zionist leaders did not campaign strongly against it. They believed it was only temporary. However, Transjordan went its own way, and under British tutelage.

In 1946, Britain asked the new United Nations Organisation to end its mandate and the territory became today’s Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The remaining 25 percent of Palestine remained under British mandate rule, until 1948, when it became today's Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Source : The Haaretz
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 26th October 2017 08:10
Why Did Hyderabad Die?


Sunday, October 22,2017

This is not a history but an attempt to understand what probably happened in those last years that led to the demise of Hyderabad as an independent country and its annexation by the newly independent India. It is speculation; perhaps informed speculation; I hope, intelligent speculation, but speculation nevertheless.

I am not speaking chronologically or relating incidents but attempting to understand why the Nizam of Hyderabad took the decisions he did, which led to the calamity called Police Action (Operation Polo of the Indian Army).

Calamity not because it was the end of the Asif Jahi Dynasty because all dynasties end. But calamity because, as is reported, thousands of innocent people died as a result of Police Action. They died in what we would today call, Collateral Damage; killed not by the Indian Army but by their opportunistic neighbors who used the period of transition to grab their land, by making them vanish.

Entire families were murdered, entire villages were depopulated in a massive ethnic cleansing before the term was invented. I know that the figures range from 15,000 to ten times that and more. The reality is that exact figures are impossible to get. And the death of even one innocent person is highly deplorable and tragic, so numbers mean nothing. Whether it was 15,000 or 150,000 is immaterial when the truth is that not a single one deserved to die.

I am saying this because I don’t want you to get mired in discussing incidents, numbers of dead, who killed whom but try to look at why all this happened and what if anything can be learnt from this to be applied today. What is clear is that we are a nation which seems to be cursed with internecine conflict, brother killing brother, with or without pretext.

I am saying to you that it is time this stopped. Stopped totally and completely. It is not difficult to find examples of how such things were stopped. Until 100 years ago, there was blood in the streets in Europe. Both World War I and II were essentially European wars, with Europeans killing each other. Yet out of that emerged a universal, silent, shared and solid pact, that European blood will not be shed by Europeans ever again.

One wishes that this could have been extended to non-Europeans also but be that as it may, the fact remains that today in Europe, even the thought of a mob lynching an individual or attacking a neighborhood in which a certain religious or ethnic group lives, is simply unthinkable. It is high time we in India changed our direction 180 degrees and walked the same path before we reach a point of no return on our present path. We like to talk about India’s potential.

The reality is that if we want that potential to be translated into actual development and economic growth, we must deal with social strife and lay it to rest. If we use religious and ethnic difference to constantly fan the flames of communalism and xenophobia and have our nation embark on periodic bloodletting sprees, then the result can only be one thing; civil war and total collapse. It is amazing how otherwise intelligent people seem to fail to read the writing on the wall.

My assessment of the situation at that time leading to the demise of Hyderabad as an independent country was that India had just become independent paying a huge price in human life in the partition of British India into India and Pakistan. That resulted in India having a hostile neighbor on two sides, East and West Pakistan and Kashmir, still in a state of limbo in the North. It simply couldn’t afford another independent state in its center, ruled by a Muslim king, even though he was not hostile and even though the majority population of the state was Hindu. Hyderabad had to become a part of the Indian Union, come what may. Also since Hyderabad was the biggest, wealthiest and most influential of the Princely States, what happened to it would be salutary for the others. If Hyderabad retained independence and sovereignty, then it would open the doors for similar aspirations of many other ruling princes. If Hyderabad joined the Indian Union, then others would also fall in line.

So, if Hyderabad didn’t join the Indian Union willingly, it would have to be made to do so, unwillingly. Attempts were made to persuade the Nizam to accede to the Indian Union but when these failed, covert attempts to subvert his government were undoubtedly made by encouraging communal elements to create unrest. Religion is a very easy way to gain mass support and in an atmosphere where the Hindu-Muslim equation was badly vitiated after the formation of Pakistan, this was easy to do. Flames were fanned and new fires were set and in time, they did what all fires do – burn everything they came into contact with. Three hundred years of common Hindu-Muslim history was reduced to ashes. No doubt it helped some people to come to power, but at the cost of a great many. But history is written by victors, while those who die, tell no tales and the world goes on.

The tendency when speaking about any monarchy is to speak in terms of its king alone. Usually this is a mistake because whatever the king may think of himself, he is a man and is influenced by his times and the people around him. Some of this influence is overt but a lot of it is hidden and covert. Included in this are his own feelings, aspirations, anxieties, insecurities.

At a time of transition which may result in a fall of the monarchy all these fears are hugely enhanced, because in most cases, a fall of the monarchy usually means death for the king or at least life in enormously reduced circumstances. To be able to still think with a cool head and take decisions that are morally and ethically right while being strategically wise, is no mean task. For this it is not only essential for the king to have the guidance of wise people around him, but even more importantly, for him to listen to them.

In the case of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Nawab Mir Osman Ali Khan Bahadur, I believe we have a case where, to put it mildly, things went awry.

My understanding of the factors at the time, from my reasonably extensive reading of different books on this subject as well as having known some of those who were present at the time of Police Action, and were close to the Nizam, is as follows:

The Nizam of Hyderabad was an absolute monarch. A very good one, who never took a single day’s vacation in his life and not given to the playboy lifestyle of his other counterparts in the Princely States of India, but still an absolute monarch. The hierarchy was feudal, which meant that, as in any other feudal system, the only way anyone aspiring to high position could get it was by birth into the right family or by special Royal Dispensation. This in turn would necessitate the attention of and promotion by one of the high Nobles so that one would get noticed. Needless to say, the number of positions at the top are very limited and usually taken.

The ‘evils’ of a feudal system, even a very benign and benevolent one like the rule of the Nizam of Hyderabad was, can’t be overemphasized. Its biggest evil being the death of aspiration of youth. This was one of the major reasons for the migration of the youth of Europe to America and the eventual break with Europe altogether. A new nation was born, not because people in the old country were being physically tortured or murdered, but because their hopes and dreams were stillborn in a system that didn’t permit them to live and grow by their ability. That is the problem with all feudal systems and the reason why democracy, with all its faults, is the best form of government that humankind has created for itself, to date.

Any ordinary young person not born into a noble family but aspiring for high office in Hyderabad (the country), especially political power, had little chance of attaining it, except through exceptional circumstances and luck, irrespective of his qualifications. For such people, a time of turmoil and turbulence is a godsend. It shakes the foundations of the structures of society and briefly opens a window of opportunity to change the rules of the game. What added to this was the fact that the State was the biggest employer. Though there were businesses and industry, rather more than in other Princely States or British India, their influence and the opportunities they presented were still very limited, especially at the managerial level. Opportunities of realizing one’s aspirations outside the State’s influence were therefore very limited. This always leads to frustration for which a situation of turmoil which shakes the foundations of the State and official hierarchy is a great opportunity.

To give the time its due, this was not due to any backwardness of Hyderabad but because that was the nature of the world at the time. The industrial boom of manufacture and later of IT was still about a century away. Opportunities for careers in the corporate world were limited because the corporate world as we know it, didn’t exist. There were traders, small manufacturers, almost all of them family owned, who followed in effect the same feudal rules of employment and career development. If you were born into the family or related to it in some way, you could never get into top management.

With Indian Independence looming on the horizon and in effect inevitable, there was an atmosphere of change in the air. An atmosphere of high political aspirations, of ambitions of power and influence. Feudalism in India was dying, in its formal sense of hereditary rulers and nobles and leadership positions would fall vacant, ready to be occupied with those who had the vision to see the writing on the wall and the grit to work for it. Sad to see that seventy years after this time, feudalism in terms of attitudes, which really deserved to die, remains alive and well, with the new elected leaders having taken the place of hereditary rulers on the throne. But that is an aside. For our story, the world was changing and fast in which like in all times of change, you either change or die. Incumbency is the single biggest crime in a revolution as you become the logical target of attack. If you change your stripes and start running with the hounds, like the British monarchy did very successfully by converting the ruling family into Hollywood stars, then you survive and prosper. If you remain static, like the Nizam did, you become a statistic.

The other factor that was in play in these times was the anxiety of the Nizam and his nobility about their own fate in the new world order which was dawning. In this context they had Jinnah’s divisive rhetoric on one hand and the assurance of the British Empire on the other guaranteeing the Nizam that the territorial integrity of his kingdom as well as his sovereignty as a monarch would be defended and maintained. In my opinion, the Nizam and his nobility’s biggest mistake was to believe both these narratives. It raised their anxiety to a level where their minds stopped working and had them grabbing at straws (promises of the British Empire) to save themselves from drowning. Ask anyone if a straw can save a drowning man and you know what happened to the Nizam and Hyderabad State was ine

Qasim Rizvi and his Razakars. Qasim Rizvi was an opportunist who took advantage of a nebulous situation and tried to play ‘King Maker’. The fact that he ran away when things didn’t go as planned and left those who allowed him his time in the sun to face the music, is proof that he had no commitment either to Hyderabad or the Nizam. He was in it for himself and escaped when things fell apart. What he had going for him was demagoguery that capitalized on the anxieties of the ruling class as well as the Muslims in Hyderabad who were already affected by the demagoguery of Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Add in a heady mixture of fantasy, distorted historical references and people’s own ignorance of history as well as their inability to critically analyze what was being presented to them by QR and you can see how and why his rhetoric was remarkably rabble rousing. Religion as they say is the last resort of the scoundrel, an analogy that fits QR like a glove.

Finally, the demise of Hyderabad was also the most colossal collective failure of leadership that one can imagine. If you look at the nobles and notables around the Nizam, you have a list of luminaries that can hardly be bettered. Yet they failed as a group to guide their king and country in a direction leading to safety and progress. Instead they all seem to have collectively become victims of Qasim Rizvi’s crazy rhetoric either actively or passively to a point of no return. The fact that the Nizam was himself in QR’s thrall, would have, I suppose, stopped many from openly disagreeing. All these are the price of a feudal, autocratic system wherein dissent is dangerous and severely restricted. All autocratic systems fall prey to this and so did Hyderabad State.

What should the Nizam have done?

I think that is fairly clear and I don’t really need to write this but am doing so in the interest of closing the loop as it were. Here is what should have happened:

The Nizam and his advisors should have realized the reality of Hyderabad and its future in the context of the Indian Union. For details please refer to Point No. 1 above i.e. my assessment of the situation at the time. They should have seen that remaining independent was out of the question and so should have bargained for the best deal and joined the Indian Union. That single action would have avoided all the bloodshed and turmoil.

They should have realized that the British have a very famous history of telling lies to those they rule and work only with one interest in mind; their own. The history of the British in India was no secret to anyone with eyes to see. As it was, the British were leaving India in a great hurry and really didn’t care a hoot about what happened to India or Indians. What value can the assurance of such an ally have? Once again, that meant, the joining the Indian Union was the not just the best option but the only one.

Qasim Rizvi should have been shown the door. His kind of rhetoric was so alien to the history of the Nizams of Hyderabad and their treatment of their subjects irrespective of religion that it is almost impossible to believe that not only did QR get a foothold but that to all intents and purposes, he became the defacto ruler. Furthermore, especially given the recent formation of Pakistan and the massacres that happened as a result, it was suicidal to allow the very same rhetoric to become dominant in Hyderabad. To allow Hyderabad’s long history of harmonious relationships between the two major communities of Hindus and Muslims to be destroyed was totally tragic and inexplicable. It was like an onset of momentary insanity from which a man awakens to witness the destruction that he had wrought while insane.

Hyderabad (Nizam and nobility and the State) should have invested heavily in industry and invited the Tatas and Birlas to set up manufacturing plants. Both were in operation having started in the 1800’s. This would have had three beneficial effects.

a. It would have created massive employment opportunities for youth, the best way to deal with all kinds of social unrest, give them something to lose.

b. It would have increased the personal wealth of the Nizam and his nobility and made them free from dependence on Privy Purses and State charity.

c. It would have acted as a shield against any political adventurism, just as the presence of Trump business interest in Middle Eastern countries has kept them safe from his travel ban on Muslims. The travel ban as you know, applies only to countries where Trump has no business interests.

(Mirza Awar Baig is an author and columnist based in Hyderabad. The views are personal)

Source : The Citizen
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 27th October 2017 05:52
Betrayal of Indian nationalism

Muslims opposed the British rulers. The Sangh Parivar collaborated with them. Who is “anti-national”?


Gandhi ne asj jang ka ailan kar diya,/

Baatil se haq ko dast-o-garebaan kar diya.

Hindustaan mein ek nai rooh phoonk kar/

Azadi-e-hayaat ka samaan kar diya.

Parwurdigaar ne ke woh hai aadmi shinnas,/

Gandhi ko bhi yeh martaba pahchaan kar diya

(Gandhi has made a declaration of war…

Betwixt Truth and Falsehood a deadly battle starts.

Infusing a new spirit into the Indian hearts,/

For independence complete he has prepared the path.

God, who is the judge of men, in His wisdom great,/ Has rightly chosen the mahatma as the shepherd of our flock.)

THIS stirring poem was written by Maulana Zafar Ali Khan during India’s movement for independence. He predicted accurately: “Woh din aane ko hai azad jab Hindustan hoga,/Mubarkbaad isko de raha saara jahan hoga.” The day is fast approaching when India will be free,/The whole world will greet her on this triumphal feast.” (K.C. Kanda, Masterpieces of Patriotic Urdu Poetry, Sterling Publishers, New Delhi, pages 449, Rs.350.)

Can the Sangh Parivar, in all its varied outfits—the Hindu Mahasabha and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)—cite a single poem, by a member or supporter, on India’s inclusive nationalism with its rich composite culture?

India’s freedom movement was enriched by the enthusiastic participation of all its communities: Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Parsis and some others. All spoke for India amid voices of separate rights and even religious revivalism. The Sangh Parivar was not a movement for religious revivalism but for political ascendancy and power over all others—in the name of religion.

The RSS was established by Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, a former Congressman, at Nagpur in September 1925 on Vijaya Dasami Day. Enough is known about its chequered career since. But one fundamental question concerning its very raison d’etre has not been addressed as pointedly and in as much depth as it deserves. Why on earth was the RSS set up at all? The answer to this question explains its entire career to this day. Remember, the freedom movement led by the Congress under Gandhi’s leadership was at its height in 1925. The Liberals of old disagreed with the new technique of civil disobedience and insisted on constitutional methods. Patriots like Bhagat Singh rejected both and opted for violence.

Why RSS?

The RSS was not set up because it disagreed with the three—Gandhi, Liberals and terrorists—or with the methods they advocated. Its aim was not to provide vigour and speed to the freedom movement. It was to promote the cause of a Hindu state at the end of British rule. Its technique was to collaborate with the British, meanwhile, and carefully avoid a confrontation with the alien rulers. In doing so, it did not merely part company with the freedom movement. The RSS opposed it, as did the Hindu Mahasabha. Both rejected Indian nationalism at the very outset. Its themes, its ideology, and its secular, democratic ideals were rejected and sneered at, especially its flag.

It was inherent in its ideology and its techniques, while distinguishing itself from Indian nationalism, not only to espouse Hindu nationalism but to belittle other communities, chiefly Muslims and Christians, and spread hate against others. This technique continues with fanatical zeal to this day. The RSS was never banned by the British. It was banned three times after Independence by the government of India.

This explains the futility of those who expected the RSS or its political outfits—the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party—to moderate and turn Indian. They would lose the very reason for their existence.

Which brings us back to the crucial question—why was the RSS set up at all? Pralay Kanungo, a painstaking scholar, has ably recorded the atmosphere in which the venomous RSS was born: “The period from 1923 to 1928 has been described as ‘an era of Hindu communal resurgence’ in North India in which Arya Samaj played an important role. Shuddhi had been a part of Arya Samaj activities during the late nineteenth century. But now under the leadership of Swami Shraddhanand, the campaign became intense. His proselytising mission was aimed at those Hindus who were converted to Islam or other groups of borderline Muslims who had retained many Hindu customs. …In this charged atmosphere of communal confrontation, a new organisation of the Hindus was established at Nagpur on the Vijaya Dashmi day of 1925, upholding the spirit of sangathan ideology. The founder was Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar. The four other persons present on the occasion were Dr B.S. Moonje, Dr L.V. Paranjape, Dr B.B. Thalkar and Babarao Savarkar. The name given subsequently to this organisation was Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS)” (RSS’s Tryst with Politics, Manohar, pages 35, 36 and 38).

“A major influence on Hedgewar’s thinking was a handwritten manuscript of V.D. Savarkar’s Hindutva, which advanced the thesis that the Hindus were a nation” (Walter K. Andersen and Sridhar D. Damle, The Brotherhood in Saffron, page 33). Hedgewar had a guru, Moonje. Significantly, he had met Savarkar in March 1925, shortly before launching the RSS, for lengthy discussions.
RSS never an adversary of the British

In his carefully documented Hindu Nationalism (Oxford, New York), Chetan Bhatt of the University of London notes: “Whereas Congress and allied movements and activities were violently repressed, banned or imprisoned in huge numbers, the RSS was not considered an adversary by the British. On the contrary, it gave loyal consent to the British to be part of the Civic Guard. The RSS was not proscribed by the British, but was banned three times by Indian governments. Both Hedgewar and Golwalkar (its second leader) actively opposed joining the anti-colonial movement in favour of ‘character-building’ work in the service of the Hindu Nation.

“Similarly, the RSS, as a matter of explicit organisational policy, refused to join the non-cooperation movement and anti-colonial satyagrahas in the 1920s and 1940s, including the anti-Rowlatt agitations, the Civil Disobedience and Quit India movements, and the Naval mutiny in Bombay.…

“The RSS is quite explicit that one of the reasons for its formation was Hedgewar’s view that whereas Muslims were organised and strong, Hindus were disaggregated and weak and hence had to be consolidated into a militant, unified and aggressive force. Hedgewar’s diagnosis of the political situation in the early 1920s was as follows: ‘The upsurge witnessed during the days of non-cooperation movement has died down. The various evils accompanying the movement are now having a heyday. Mutual distrust and ill will, personal and caste rivalries, Brahmin and non-Brahmin controversy have all raised their ugly heads. No institution or organisation seems to be free from these internal squabbles and utter lack of discipline. The snake of Muslim fanaticism, having been fed on the milk of non-cooperation, is now baring its poisonous fangs and spreading the venom of violence and riots all over the country.’”

Chetan Bhatt adds: “Hedgewar also believed that it was the ‘lack of cohesion and self-respect’ among Hindus that was the key problem facing Hindu society during this ‘dark night of self-oblivion’, which, for him, characterised Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement” (pages 115 and 117). This idea, instilling an inferiority complex in a great community, is still being propagated by the RSS.

The RSS was duly set on its course. A biography records: “After establishing the Sangh, Doctor Saheb in his speeches used to talk only of Hindu organisation. Direct comment on government used to be nil.” (C.P. Bhislikar, Sanghavariksh Ke Beej/ Dr. Kashaavrao Hedgewar. This official biography in Hindi deserves translation into English. Excerpts in English are quoted in Dr Shamsul Islam’s Hindu Nationalism and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh published by Media House, Delhi, 2015, and his pamphlet Know the RSS, published by Pharos Media, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, 2017.)

Another biography records: “It is clear that Gandhiji worked constantly with one eye on Hindu-Muslim unity. … But Doctorji sensed danger in that move. In fact he did not even relish the new-fangled slogan of ‘Hindu-Muslim Unity’” (Quoted in Shamsul Islam, Hindu Nationalism and RSS, page 207).

This is most revealing. No struggle for freedom would be waged against the British in unity with Muslims. The RSS would parley directly with the British; keep the rulers in good humour; secure transfer of power; and establish a Hindu Rashtra.

What the RSS pracharak Narendra Modi has sought to do since he came to power in 2014 is to make up for lost time (1947-2014) and move systematically, step by step, towards that ignoble end. Hence his eloquent silence on the misdeeds of his followers. Barack and Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton were friends of Harvey Weinstein. They publicly denounced him to signify their dissociation from his crimes. Modi cannot do that to his followers. The RSS and he need each other badly, locked as they are in a deadly embrace.

A near century’s record has made the RSS what it is now. The prayer in Sanskrit which was introduced in 1939 to replace the Hindi-Marathi prayer is more explicit: “Affectionate Motherland, I eternally bow to you./ Land of Hindus, you have reared me in comfort./ Sacred Land, the Great Creator of Good, may this body of mine be dedicated to you/ I again and again bow before you./ God Almighty, we the integral parts of Hindu Rashtra salute you in reverence.”

The oath that every member has to take reads: “Before the All-Powerful God and my ancestors, I most solemnly take this oath, that I have become a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh in order to achieve all-round greatness of Bharatvarsh by fostering the growth of my sacred Hindu religion, Hindu society and Hindu culture. I shall perform the work of the Sangh honestly, disinterestedly, with my heart and soul, and I shall adhere to this oath all my life. Bharat Mata ki Jai” (D.R. Goyal, Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, Radhakrishna Prakashan, Daryaganj, New Delhi, pages 247-249; an able work). Instruction in the use of the lathi was part of the “group prayers” (Andersen and Damle, page 35).
Leader worship

The five who set up the body in 1925 did not even have a name in mind for the newborn. It was adopted on April 17 (Ram Navami Day) in 1926. Hedgewar was formally designated chief organiser (Chalak) on December 19, 1926. Appetite whetted, three years later he made himself the RSS’ dictator.

“In a meeting with the Sanghachalaks in Nagpur [November 9-10,1929], Hedgewar as chief once again personally declared that ‘from the point of view of internal discipline, the organisation should work under one leader who would mastermind the programmes’. For Hedgewar it became the sole principle of organisation as can be seen reiterated in an official circular in 1933, which he himself wrote: It is essential that the Swayamsewaks should implicitly obey the command of Sarsanghachalak. The Sangh should not reach a stage when tail should wag the body. That is the secret of the success of the Sangh. This obedience to the sole leader was soon turned into leader worship. In fact, it got institutionalised as early as 10 November, 1929, when in a full-fledged organisational meeting of RSS in Nagpur, Hedgewar was offered pranam or salutation in a true military style by the Swayamsewaks present” (Shamsul Islam, page 213). This fascist tradition has been continued to this day.
collaboration with the british

If the Congress was to be condemned and the Muslims excoriated, the Sangh Parivar (that is, the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS) plumped for the obvious third choice—collaborate with the British.

“Golwalkar believed that the British should not be given any excuse to ban the RSS. When the British banned military drill and the use of uniforms in all non-official organisations, the RSS complied. On 29 April 1943 Golwalkar distributed a circular to senior RSS figures, announcing the termination of the RSS military department. The wording of the circular reveals his apprehensions regarding the possibility of a ban on the RSS: ‘We discontinued practices included in the government’s early order on military drill and uniforms… to keep our work clearly within bounds of law, as every law abiding institution should. …Hoping that circumstances would ease early, we had in a sense only suspended that part of our training. Now, however, we decide to stop it altogether and abolish the department without waiting for the time to change.’

“Golwalkar was not a revolutionary in the conventional sense of the term. The British understood this. In an official report on RSS activity, prepared in 1943, the Home Department concluded that ‘it would be difficult to argue that the RSS constitutes an immediate menace to law and order…’. Commenting on the violence that accompanied the 1942 Quit India Movement, the Bombay Home Department observed, ‘The Sangh has scrupulously kept itself within the law, and in particular, has refrained from taking part in the disturbances that broke out in August, 1942…’” (Andersen and Damle, page 44).

Savarkar’s many and abject apologies are well known: 1. Brought to the Andamans on July 4, 1911, he pleaded for clemency before the year ended.

2. In 1913, he offered to serve the government in any capacity it liked. He repeated this in 1914 and 1917.

3. On March 30, 1920, he filed another mercy petition (Frontline, April 8, 2005).

4. He was released on January 6, 1924, on the condition that “he will not engage publicly or privately in any manner of political activities without the consent of the government” for five years. It was extended until 1937 when Home Minister K.M. Munshi released him.

5. On February 22, 1948, he gave an undertaking to the Commissioner of Police, Bombay to renounce politics in order to avert arrest for Gandhi’s murder.

6. On July 13, 1950, he gave another undertaking, this time to the Bombay High Court, saying he would not participate in politics.

The Second World War exposed the Parivar’s two top men in their true colours. Savarkar met the Viceroy Lord Linlithgow in Bombay on October 9, 1939, who duly recorded his offer. “The situation, he [Savarkar] said, was that His Majesty’s Government must now turn to the Hindus and work with their support. After all, though we and the Hindus have had a good deal of difficulty with one another in the past, that was equally true of the relations between Great Britain and the French and, as recent events had shown, of relations between Russia and Germany. Our interests were now the same and we must therefore work together. Even though now the most moderate of men, he had himself been in the past an adherent of a revolutionary party, as possibly, I might be aware. (I confirmed that I was.) But now that our interests were so closely bound together the essential thing was for Hinduism and Great Britain to be friends, and the old antagonism was no longer necessary” (Marzia Casolari, The Shade of the Swastika, page 172).
S.P. Mookerjee’s letter

The prize goes to Syama Prasad Mookerjee, erstwhile president of the Mahasabha and founder of the Jana Sangh under a pact with the RSS. In December 1941 he became a Minister in the Bengal Cabinet headed by Fazlul Haq, who had moved the Pakistan Resolution at the Muslim League’s session at Lahore in March 1940. On the eve of the Congress’ Quit India movement he wrote to the arch imperialist the Governor of Bengal Sir John Herbert in these fulsome terms: “Let me now refer to the situation that may be created in the province as a result of any widespread movement launched by the Congress. Anybody, who during the war, plans to stir up mass feelings, resulting in internal disturbances or insecurity, must be resisted by any government that may function for the time being. …as regards India’s attitude towards England, the struggle between them, if any, should not take place at this juncture. The present war is being fought not for perpetuation of British domination over India. Old ideas of imperialism must be buried underground, and they are not going to revive, whatever the result of the present war may be.…

“The question is how to combat this movement in Bengal? The administration of the province should be carried on in such a manner that in spite of the best efforts of the Congress, this movement will fail to take root in the province. It should be possible for us, specially responsible ministers, to be able to tell the public that the freedom for which the Congress has started the movement, already belongs to the representatives of the people. In some spheres it might be limited during the emergency. Indians have to trust the British” (S.P. Mookerjee, Leaves from a Diary, pages 179 and 183). The Mahasabha had a representative in the Viceroy’s Executive Council, Sir Jwala Prasad Srivastava.
Bankim Chandra’s bias

The collaboration had an ideological besides a tactical basis. In his Autobiography of An Unknown Indian, Nirad C. Chaudhuri has aptly described the atmosphere of the times in which the song Bande Mataram was written. “The historical romances of Bankim Chatterjee and Romesh Chandra Dutt glorified Hindu rebellion against Muslim rule and showed the Muslims in a correspondingly poor light. Chatterjee was positively and fiercely anti-Muslim. We were eager readers of these romances and we readily absorbed their spirit.”

The historian R.C. Majumdar pithily puts it: “Bankimchandra converted patriotism into religion and religion into patriotism.” The novel Ananda Math, for which Bande Mataram was written, was not anti-British. In the last chapter, we find a supernatural figure persuading the leader of the sanyasis, Satyananda, to stop fighting. The dialogue that follows is interesting: “He: Your task is accomplished. The Muslim power is destroyed. There is nothing else for you to do. No good can come of needless slaughter.”

Anti-Muslim references are spread all over the work. Jivananda with sword in hand, at the gate of the temple, exhorts the children of Kali: “We have often thought to break up this bird’s nest of Muslim rule, to pull down the city of the renegades and throw it into the river—to turn this pigsty to ashes and make Mother earth free from evil again. Friends, that day has come.”

The use of the song “Bande Mataram” in the novel is not adventitious. It is essentially a religious homage to the country conceived as a deity, “a form of worship” as Majumdar aptly called it. The motherland is “conceived as the Goddess Kali, the source of all power and glory”.

This, in the song itself. The context makes it worse. “The land of Bengal, and by extension all of India, became identified with the female aspect of Hindu deity, and the result was a concept of divine Motherland” (India as a Secular State by Donald Eugene Smith, 1963, Princeton University Press). How secular is such a song?

The refrain was picked up by Lajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malaviya and others. In 1925, the year the RSS was born, Lala Hardyal wrote in the Pratap of Lahore: “I declare that the future of the Hindu race, of Hindustan and of the Punjab rests on those four pillars: 1. Hindu Sanghathan. 2. Hindu Raj. 3. Shuddhi of Muslims, and 4. Conquest and Shuddhi of Afghanistan and the Frontiers.” Savarkar and Hedgewar inherited that heritage, which successors like Modi & Co. are now carrying forward.
Repression of Muslims

Asoka Mehta wrote of the 1857 Mutiny: “When the rebellion began Hindus and Muslims participated in it in large numbers. …The hand of repression fell heavily on the Muslims. They were tattooed with terror” (1857, The Great Rebellion).

Muslims suffered the most, as Asoka Mehta acknowledged in his history. The British singled them out for hostile treatment, which was documented in the classic The Indian Musalmans (1871) by W.W. Hunter of the Bengal Civil Service. These lines give the flavour of the times: “The first of them, the Army, is now completely closed. No Muhammadan gentleman of birth can enter our Regiments; …Musalman element in the public services has gone on growing weaker every year, just as before. …There is now scarcely a government office in Calcutta in which a Muhammadan can hope for any post above the rank of porter, messenger, and filler of ink-pots and menders of pens. …Among the judges of Her Majesty’s High Court of Judicature in Bengal are two Hindus but no Musalman. Indeed, the idea of a High Court judge being taken from the race that once monopolised the whole administration of justice is inconceivable alike to Anglo-Indians and to Hindus at the present day. …In short, the Muhammadans have now sunk so low, that, even when qualified for government employment, they are studiously kept out of it by government notifications. Nobody takes any notice of their helpless condition, and the higher authorities do not deign even to acknowledge their existence. …Had the Musalmans been wise, they would have perceived the change, and accepted their fate.”

Thus the Muslims had no incentive or desire to collaborate with the British. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan advised them to shun politics and take to education. Others like Badruddin Tyabji and Jinnah joined the Congress and enriched the freedom movement. The first resolution for complete independence was moved in the Congress session of 1921 by the great poet Maulana Hasrat Mohani, a great admirer of Tilak. It said: “The object of the Indian National Congress is the attainment of Swaraj or complete independence free from all foreign control by the people of India by all legitimate and peaceful methods”. Gandhi strongly opposed it accusing the supporters of the motion of “levity”. It was defeated.

Dr K.C. Kanda’s volume has poems galore by Muslims and, of course, Hindus on independence, including a poem by Ashfaqullah Khan who was hanged in 1927 for his role in the Kakori train robbery case.

Dr Shamsul Islam has compiled a documented record in Muslims against Partition of India (Pharos Media, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi, pages 249, Rs.280). It has a foreword by the distinguished historian Harbans Makhia.

Muslims opposed the British rulers. The Sangh Parivar collaborated with them. Who is “anti-national”? The record speaks for itself. The betrayal of Indian nationalism by the Parivar continues still, as its pracharak Narendra Modi ousts it to spread Hindu nationalism, longing all the time for American support. They replaced the British.

Source : Frontline
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 8th November 2017 03:02
Poona University Succumbs to Zeitgist

Okay. So here is Poona University too, succumbing to the Zeitgeist.

‘Indianisation of education’ is need of the hour: Gujarat governor Kohli

Governor Says, India resisted Muslims culturally, but surrendered to Western onslaught on our values over the years

Brajesh Choudhary : Interesting discussion. What the Governor (a retired faculty of DU) said is largely true but it also implies that some rewriting of history will be done. It is true that even educated people in India don't know about Kautilya's "Arthashastra" but they know of "The Prince" by Machievelle. The same about history of grammar, mathematics, algebra, trigonometry, astronomy.

Sudhir Raniwala : There is only one problem. Most of the people who advocate this.....their children are studying in the West :-)

Naveen Gaur : Hon'ble O. P. Kohli had a interesting record in DU,
The same person recently gave nod to draconian Gujarat State Higher Education bill (one of the implications would be the power of syllabus / curriculum is effectively taken away from universities, here goes the claimed autonomy that people argue about out of the window) and hopefully being a former teacher in a DU college knows well the bill and it's implications.

Sudhir Raniwala : Naveen Gaur Another one of the gems that I learnt from Prof. S Lokanathan: "The problem with our country is that policies are made by those whose future remains unaffected by it" !

Naveen Gaur : Interestingly Hon'ble Governor few months back came to our Evening college. Inspite of my reservations I thought of attending the activity in the expectation of getting a opportunity to question him on the issue. Not surprisingly I was warned of action (in case I try to pose a simple academic question) and virtually not allowed to go to the hall of my own institution. He is a frequent visitor to DU and none questions him even on such bill. Probably all this must be the part of "Indianisation of education".

The problem is not only about the people who formulate / approve policies but also with those who are reluctant to pose simple questions to such people.

Sudhir Raniwala : Is asking questions to elders against our culture?

Naveen Gaur : Oh, completely forgot, you are absolutely correct. I was indeed wrong.

Tarun Deep Saini : After watching NDTV India's multipart series on the state of Indian universities, especially those that have tertiary Sanskrit education, it is hard to take such talk seriously. Rather than change syllabi, their purpose would be better served if they put money into existing universities where such education is provided. They should also put money into making some of these texts modern through good translations and annotations to put things in context. I once read an outstanding Hindi translation of Panchatantra, which really made it so much easier to read it. As a child I had to work my way through Ramcharitmanas, and I can tell you it caused me much pain.

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : Brajesh, have you read the Arthasastra and/or The Prince? I have read both (in translation, alas!) and found the Arthasastra extremely boring, like reading a legal document, whereas The Prince is full of interesting anecdotes which illustrate the author's points. And none of these books make good reading for children, for they are far too cynical. In fact, Machiavelli at least had an ideal, which was to free Italy from foreign invaders, whereas Kautilya only tells his king how to cling on to power.

Sudhir Raniwala : Your thoughts indicate that you may be anti-national :-(

Govindarajan Thupil : True, you are becoming slowly anti national, but I have read Lilavati, Aryabhatiyam, Yukti basha, Tantrasangraha all in translations (which have been authenticated by people who knew sanskrit and english or malayalam and english) and they are beautiful...But they may help in improving knowledge of history of science, but will not help in current contents of education....we have moved far

Patrick Das Gupta : Very kuteel and Machiavellian thoughts :)

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : No no, I am very national. I know the national anthem by heart, all five stanzas in fact.

Sudhir Raniwala : Just like all 23 letters of the english alphabet :-)

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : Actually I know 3 more than that.

Tarun Deep Saini : If so many seemingly westernised people already read these books, then who are they aiming at? We do need good writers to write history in an engaging manner. For example, these ten recommended books on Indian history were all written by foreigners or ...See More

Sudhir Raniwala : Sreerup Raychaudhuri you mean 23 + GST ?

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : Must check in my copy of Arthasastra.

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : The problem is that serious history in India - as apart from mythmaking - started with the colonial period. In that sense, all Indian history is by 'westernised people', even those by strong nationalists like R.C.Majumdar and Pt. Ishwari Prasad.

Brajesh Choudhary : Sreerup Raychaudhuri, wouldn't have quoted those books without reading them. I agree with your assessment on readability of those two books, but it also tells you that translation of many ancient Indian books are not what they should be. Having read Gita in Sanskrit followed by explanation in Hindi (and also explained to me by my Grandfather who knew Sanskrit) tells you that a good book when translated properly can be very interesting. As far as Chanakya is concerned he doesn't tell his King to cling to the power but how a benovelent King should rule and what should be his duties.

Brajesh Choudhary : Tarun Deep Saini, you must be joking Professor to refer those 10 books as "must read". At least books at number 4, 6, 7, and 8 can make good light reading but a must read. Wow.

Tarun Deep Saini : Brajesh Choudhary, where did you see 'must read'? These are books recommended by some people on Twitter and Facebook. But because popular books are eventually going to be read by such people, I posted it as a representative of the books that ordinary people like to read. I would much appreciate if you could post your own list here so I could read them. I’m not so much into history, but I did enjoy quite a lot Dalrymple's City of Djinns. And no serious text books please ☺️

Brajesh Choudhary : Bhaiya Tarun Deep Saini Saheb, it says "10 Indian History Books You Must Read". I just quoted from what is in your post BhaiSaheb.

Tarun Deep Saini : And I just now told you recommended by whom. It is written quite clearly there. I’m not the one peddling these books. I find most history books exceedingly boring because I am really ignorant about the subject, but am willing to learn if it is made int...See More

Brajesh Choudhary : Born in Hindu Rao. My delayed neighbor. I live in Maurice Nagar.

Tarun Deep Saini : I also spent much of my early childhood in old Delhi. I have rather spooky memories of my childhood in the midst of havelis and tehkhanas ☺️

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : Brajesh, I think the translation of Chanakya which I read was pretty accurate, as it was in Bangla, which is a Sanskrit derivative. No amount of good translation can make what is really a handbook into a good read. As for benevolence, you will surely remember that Chanakya has the following advice for his king to make some quick bucks - Pay an astrologer to predict a great calamity or a war, and pretend to believe it. Then collect a lot of taxes in the name of relief or defence. People will pay, as they are frightened. Then when nothing materialises, feign great wrath and execute the astrologer. When the people see your mood, they will not dare to ask their money back. And they will feel content the astrologer has been punished and justice done. Thus you keep all the gold.... and this is what you want young kids to be taught.

Krishnendu Sengupta : i would prefer reading dan brown to kautilya 😊😊😆

Tarun Deep Saini : Sreerup Raychaudhuri, in India we don’t kid our children. This may be good advice for a future con man or politician. But it should be modernised by replacing calamity with terror attack or some such modern thing. Astrologers could be modernised to media, perhaps.

Krishnendu Sengupta : ok, i haven;t really read arthashastra or even anything close to it = had its mention in history book as a text === but this story probably shows that we should really be careful about what we ask our kids to read. and as far as the governer's comment, may be he should have said that saving infants (so that they can have an education) is the need of the hour in today;s India.

Pratap Raychaudhuri : Group Admin Krishnendu Sengupta One should ask the governor if he has read the texts :)

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : Tarun Deep Saini, do you think our politicians - of all hues - need any advice on these counts? They are laughing all the way to the bank while we poor fools expend our frustrations on
Krishnendu Sengupta Pratap Raychaudhuri you are actually asking a politician to read? really?

Pratap Raychaudhuri: Group Admin Krishnendu Sengupta This politician also happens to be a former professor!

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : What does he profess?

Balasubramanian Ananthanarayan : The reasons are clear. Machiavelli loved his wine.

Sudhir Raniwala : Spoken like a wise man !

Manas Maity : A wine man is a wise man. QED.

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : Actually Machiavelli was dyspeptic and drank only vinegar in warm water - or so Somerset Maugham claims... 😁

Sudhir Raniwala : I am an ignoramus about this. Trust Balasubramanian Ananthanarayan to come with such examples :-)

Balasubramanian Ananthanarayan : Well, I read an article on BBC about his visits to pubs. Maybe he only drank water with vinegar...

Sudhir Raniwala : No need to explain....since you had not expressed your usual sentiment towards me for long, I was suffering withdrawal effects, and hence provoked. Alas, it went a waste :-)

Sreerup Raychaudhuri : What else did he have in the pubs? Fish and chips?

Manas Maity : Wise men visit the pub when the chips are down and down a pint or two.

Dinesh Srivastava : One of the advices Arthashastra gives is to open many pubs and brothels so as to increase the tax collection. The first shpuld definitely endear the author of Arthashastra to Prof. Dr. Sudhir Raniwala!
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 14th November 2017 06:48
(1) The news portal the Wire has compiled Indian lynchings since Dadri infamy.

(2) Washington Post reports about Poland rally placard inviting Muslim Holocaust.
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd December 2017 04:51
Urdu Post on FB about Obama on Muslims of India.
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd December 2017 08:48
Freeing India of Muslims and Christians by 2021

'We will free India of Muslims and Christians by 2021': DJS leader vows to continue 'ghar wapsi' plans and restore 'Hindu glory'
53-67 minutes

By Piyush Srivastava

Published: 03:45 GMT, 19 December 2014 | Updated: 03:45 GMT, 19 December 2014

Even as Opposition parties up the ante over alleged incidents of religious reconversion, the Dharm Jagran Samiti has declared that it will ensure India becomes a Hindu Rashtra by 2021.

Licence to stay

Speaking in Agra on Thursday, a Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) functionary said Muslims and Christians will have to convert to Hinduism if they want to stay in this country.

The DJS has been at the forefront of the reconversion - or ‘ghar wapsi’ - programmes in recent times in which some Muslims have been reportedly ‘reconverted’ to Hinduism.

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Conversion has become a major political hot potato with a few Hindu organisations holding ‘ghar wapsi’ ceremonies—the photo shows one such exercise in Agra—to ‘reconvert’ Muslims

However, their action drew widespread condemnation, leading to the arrest of one activist.

“Our target is to make India a Hindu Rashtra by 2021. The Muslims and Christians don’t have any right to stay here.

“So they would either be converted to Hinduism or forced to run away from here,” Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh said.

He was reacting to the arrest of Nand Kishore Valmiki, a DJS activist.

Valmiki was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in forcefully converting over 100 Muslims to Hinduism in Agra.

Singh said although he has temporarily suspended his ‘ghar wapsi’ programme in Aligarh and some other districts of the state that were supposed to be held on December 25, it would be restarted soon.

The DJS leader claimed that those who have been opposing ‘ghar wapsi’ were fearful of Muslims.

But, he would set India free from this fear, he added.

“I belong to the Solanki sub-caste within the Rajput caste. The Thakurs (Rajputs) respect me. I am their leader and they follow my orders.

“The Muslims had converted Rajputs to Islam by force. But the Rajputs are rising again.

“I will ensure that India is freed of Muslims and Christians by December 31, 2021,” Singh said.

In Etah, Singh reiterated his stand, saying he wouldn’t let Muslims and Christians convert the Hindus.

“We will not let them hunt the Hindus,” he said.

“The enemies have tried many a time in the past to finish Hinduism. But every time, Ram, Krishna and Chanakya came forward to finish them and restore the glory of Hinduism.

“I am also doing the same.”

Explaining the DJS’ plans, Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) secretary general Champat Rai told Mail Today: “We are of the view that there are a handful of Muslims in India.

“Others within the Muslim community are actually Hindus. Their ancestors were converted to Islam forcefully.

“Even writer Taslima Nasrin has said that her ancestors were Hindus. The Batts, who are Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir, are actually Bhatts, the Hindus.”

Rai claimed ‘ghar wapsi’ has been an ongoing VHP campaign for the last 60 years.

A resolution in this regard was passed during the 1966 Maha Kumbh in Allahabad, he said.

“We have re-inducted over six lakh people into Hinduism since 1966.

“Mahatma Gandhi, Savarkar and Swami Dayanand Saraswati had expressed their concern over religious conversion.

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Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh claimed that those who have been opposing ‘ghar wapsi’ were fearful of Muslims

“They believed it was poisoning the society. Bringing them back to their original religion means correcting the wrong.

"It is the appropriate time now to take it up on a bigger scale,” he added.

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader told Mail Today that they have formed committees in every district of the state for this purpose.

“We have included some Arya Samaj priests in the team because they issue a certificate to a converted person.

"This is a major document to prove that the converted person agrees to it,” he said.


When asked about the posture of the Modi Government on this issue, he said: “We never ask Modi or any other BJP leader before chalking out our strategy.

“We only expect them to speak for or against us to clarify their stand. But Modi is the Prime Minister.

“So his silence means his approval. It is the right time for us to fulfil our agenda.”

UP minister Azam Khan said: “RSS is behaving like the Taliban. They don’t want the Constitution of India.

“They have their own agenda of finishing humanism.”

Meanwhile, reacting sharply to the DJS statement, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said: “DJS is a wing of RSS, which had supported Modi and the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections.

“They are now drifting away from the agenda of the NDA.”

He dared the Modi Government to either accept the activities of DJS or “show some guts” and disband it.

Modi stands firm despite challenges from Rajya Sabha

By Amit Agnihotri

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has rejected the Opposition’s demand that he reply to the ongoing debate in the Rajya Sabha on alleged forced conversions.

His decision emboldened the ruling dispensation to blame the Opposition’s “arrogance of numbers” for the ongoing logjam in the Upper House that threatens to derail the Government’s economic reform agenda.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pointed to the “smooth functioning” of the Lok Sabha, saying the Rajya Sabha hold-up points to “arrogance of numbers, not the arrogance of the Government”.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be upset with the Opposition after he made a statement on the Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti controversy, but the logjam in the Rajya Sabha continued despite his address to the House

The Opposition hit back, saying the Government’s “tyranny of majority” had ensured that the Lower House functioned smoothly despite nine parties “fighting tooth and nail on the issue of conversions”.

While the Government has a brute majority in the Lower House, the Opposition has an upper hand in the Rajya Sabha.

Prime Minister Modi is said to have asked the Government to remain firm in the face of the Opposition’s attack on conversion, and suggested explaining its position directly to the people.

Nine opposition parties have kept the Government on its toes by not letting the Rajya Sabha function for the past four days, seeking the PM’s statement on the controversial issue of conversions, wherein Muslims have been “reconverted” to Hinduism by way of “ghar wapsi” ceremonies.

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FM Arun Jaitley said Congress in the Rajya Sabha were suffering from the 'arrogance of numbers'

The PM came to the Upper House on Thursday as it was the designated day he was supposed to answer questions related to ministries under him, but there was no word from him on the Opposition’s demand.

Sources said the PM had made a statement in both houses of Parliament earlier in the session, ticking off his junior colleague Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti for her controversial remarks, but that had not led to smooth functioning of the House.

The “betrayal” by the Opposition, sources said, was playing on the PM’s mind and is what drove him to ask his team to remain firm.

“The PM has confidence in his ministers. If he feels the need to intervene on any issue, he will, but not under the Opposition’s threat,” a Union minister said.

The Government sources, however, acknowledged that given the deadlock, the Winter Session, which ends December 23, might end without key reform Bills related to insurance and coal sectors passing muster.

The Government’s strategy now is to break the united Opposition camp to make the most of the three working days left in the session.

They hope that the move could help it pass at least the insurance Bill which aims to increase the FDI cap to 49 per cent.

UP police foil plans for more conversions

By Piyush Srivastava

The Uttar Pradesh Police on Thursday claimed they had foiled plans by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) to organise another ‘ghar wapsi’ exercise in Ghazipur, Varanasi and Allahabad.

“We are alert and preventing all organisations from holding such programmes,” Varanasi Inspector General of Police Amrendra Singh said on Thursday, adding that some people had been detained in Ghazipur for organising a religious function without seeking the administration’s permission.

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Fighting back: Muslims holding a protest against the alleged conversion of some of families of the community in Agra

The VHP, however, claimed they are “on the job” and that the state government would soon realise it had failed to stop them.

“We are against conversion and want the Narendra Modi Government to bring a strong law against it,” VHP leader Ashok Singhal said.

“What we are doing is ‘ghar wapsi’, in which people participate willingly and return to their original religion.

“So while conversion is a crime, ghar wapsi is holy work. We are going ahead with our programme without any publicity,” he added.

Meanwhile, although the VHP and its affiliates say they have suspended the mass “reconversion” programme they were to hold in Western Uttar Pradesh on December 25, several DJS and Hindu Yuva Vahini members have reportedly been visiting villages across Aligarh, Hathras, Bulandshahr and Etah to mobilise Muslims and Christians whose ancestors were converted from Hinduism.

A VHP leader claimed on the condition of anonymity that Yogi Kaushalanand, a disciple of Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath, has been camping in Aligarh to monitor the preparation.

“We will hold our programme any day without seeking the administration’s permission.

“Adityanath will reach next week without any prior information, and we will hold the programme. The police are free to arrest us,” the VHP leader added.

Reports have also emerged that 70 members of Scheduled Castes were allegedly converted to Christianity by missionary organisation India Hope Centre in village Matehikalan, Bahraich, on Wednesday.

The police took one person in custody on Thursday for interrogation in this regard.

“The police are probing the charges. But so far we have not found substance in it,” Superintendent of Police R.L. Verma said.
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 9th December 2017 14:20
Betrayal of Hindus

आज बाबरी को बनारस से देखिए! हिंदुओं के साथ हुआ ऐतिहासिक विश्‍वासघात नज़र आएगा…
अभिषेक श्रीवास्तव -
December 6, 2017

बाबरी विध्‍वंस को 25 साल हो गए। एक साल, दस साल, पचीस साल, पचास साल, सौ साल, ये सब अहम मौके होते हैं। लोग घटना को याद करते हैं और पुरानी कहानियां सुनाते हैं। आज दिल्‍ली के प्रेस क्‍लब में उस विध्‍वंस के गवाह अंग्रेज़ी के कुछ रिपोर्टर अपनी-अपनी आंखोंदेखी सुनाने के लिए जुट रहे हैं। इनमें हिंदी का एक भी पत्रकार नहीं है। क्‍या यह संयोग है? बाबरी को ढहते हुए बहुत से लोगों ने देखा था। कहते हैं कि हिंदी के एक लेखक ने बाबरी विध्‍वंस के बाद सुसाइड कर लिया था। वे यूपी के सूचना विभाग में काम करते थे। हो सकता है वे यह महान दृश्‍य सह नहीं पाए हों। हो सकता है कि उनके मन में यह भाव आया हो कि अब देखने को क्‍या ही बचा। बिलकुल केविन कार्टर की तरह, जो सुडान में एक कुपोषित बच्‍चे पर निगाह गड़ाए गिद्ध की फोटो खींचने के बाद जी नहीं सके थे। उन्‍होंने 33 साल की उम्र में ही खुदकुशी कर ली थी। हो सकता है इन मौतों की वजह कुछ और ही रही हो, लेकिन कहानियां तो ऐसे ही बनती हैं।

दिल्‍ली के सेकुलर स्‍पेस में हिंदी के पत्रकारों के लिए जगह बीते 25 साल में लगातार कम होती गई है। बिलकुल इसी तर्ज पर सेकुलर भी धीरे-धीरे सूडो-सेकुलर और सिक्‍युलर में तब्‍दील होता गया है। बाबरी विध्‍वंस की बरसी को भारत के सेकुलर चरित्र पर एक बदनुमा दाग मानकर लगातार मनाने वाले राष्‍ट्रीय सेकुलर तत्‍व दिल्‍ली में मोदी और यूपी में योगी की ताजपोशी को रोक नहीं सके। क्‍या कभी इन्‍होंने यह सोचने की ज़हमत उठायी कि ऐसा क्‍यों हुआ? आज भी बाबरी के नाम पर रह-रह कर जब नफ़रत की हांडी को आंच दी जाती है, तो दूसरे खेमे की ओर से नैरेटिव नहीं बदलता। बाबरी विध्‍वंस धर्मनिरपेक्ष भारत के ताने-बाने पर बदनुमा दाग बना रहता है जबकि अधिसंख्‍य हिंदू जनता का प्रतिनिधि होने का दावा करने वाले इस दिन को शौर्य दिवस के रूप में मनाते रहते हैं। अंग्रेज़ी की दिल्‍लीवासी सेकुलर बिरादरी और हिंदी की आस्‍थावान जनता की समझदारियों के बीच बाबरी विध्‍वंस पर कायम इस चौड़ी खाई को कैसे देखा जाए? क्‍या बाबरी विध्‍वंस इस देश में केवल मुसलमानों के लिए अभिशाप था?

अभी मैं पत्रकार साथी पीयूष बबेले की एक रपट पढ़ रहा था। वे लिखते हैं कि बाबरी विध्‍वंस के बाद बीते ढाई दशक में अयोध्‍या के भीतर 200 से ज्‍यादा मंदिर ढहने के कगार पर पहुंच गए हैं। यह गिनती उनकी अपनी नहीं है। अयोध्‍या के नए बने नगर निगम ने 173 मंदिरों को असुरक्षित घोषित कर दिया है। इन मंदिरों पर बाकायदा निगम का नोटिस चस्‍पां है कि श्रद्धालु इनके भीतर न प्रवेश करें और इन्‍हें खाली करा लिया जाए। कहानी में बबेले विश्‍व हिंदू परिषद के अंतरराष्‍ट्रीय महासचिव चंपतराय से बात करते हैं, तो समझ में आता है कि आस्‍था और राजनीति के बीच हमने कितनी लंबी दूरी तय कर ली है। वे कहते हैं कि उन्‍हें अयोध्‍या में ढहते 200 मंदिरों से कोई मतलब नहीं है। उनका सिर्फ एक ही उद्देश्‍य है- रामजन्‍मभूमि पर भव्‍य मंदिर का निर्माण। अगर मुसलमानों की आस्‍था एक मस्जिद गिराए जाने से दूषित हुई, तो 200 मंदिरों की जर्जर स्थिति से हिंदुओं की आस्‍था पर संकट क्‍यों नहीं खड़ा होता? संवैधानिक रूप से एक सेकुलर लोकतंत्र में किसी मस्जिद का गिराया जाना और तमाम मंदिरों को गिरने के लिए बेपरवाह छोड़ दिया जाना- दो अलग बातें हैं? क्‍या 173 मंदिरों के ध्‍वंस की भरपाई एक राम मंदिर के निर्माण से होगी? तैंतीस कोटि (या करोड़) देवी-देवताओं वाले सौ करोड़ के हिंदू समाज की आस्‍था के साथ क्‍या यह विश्‍वासघात नहीं होगा?

कितने दूर, कितने पास

हमारे दौर की पत्रकारिता की एक अजीबोगरीब विडंबना है। संस्‍थागत पत्रकार मौका-ए-वारदात से जितना दूर होता गया है, मौके पर मौजूद पत्रकार से प्रामाणिकता जुटाने का आग्रह उतना ही सघन होता गया है। आप दिल्‍ली में बैठकर अयोध्‍या को 25 साल तक देखते हैं और केवल इस आधार पर बाबरी विध्‍वंस के प्रामाणिक प्रवक्‍ता बन सकते हैं कि आप उस घटना के उस वक्‍त गवाह थे। कोई अयोध्‍या में बैठकर 25 साल से ढह चुकी बाबरी की बची-खुची धूल फांक रहा है लेकिन सेकुलरवाद के राष्‍ट्रीय विमर्श में उसके लिए कोई स्‍थान नहीं है। यह भी मुमकिन है कि दोनों ही बाबरी को एकांगी होकर देख रहे हों। बाबरी का लेना-देना जिस तरह केवल अयोध्‍या से नहीं था, वैसे ही केवल मुसलमानों से नहीं था। 16 मई, 2014 की तारीख इस बात की गवाही देगी।

इस पर आने से पहले हालांकि मैं बहुत पीछे जाने की सोचता हूं जब बनारस में मैं एक प्रतिष्ठित अंग्रेज़ी स्‍कूल में पढ़ता था और रोज़ाना 24 किलोमीटर का सफ़र तय कर के शहर आता था। शहर के मेरे दोस्‍त ही मेरा अख़बार थे क्‍योंकि अपने यहां अख़बार शाम तक पहुंचता था। लखनऊ का नवभारत टाइम्‍स संस्‍करण और दि हिंदू एक दिन बाद आते। टीवी देखना एक सामूहिक कृत्‍य था और वह भी एक पखवाड़े में ही क्‍योंकि दूसरे पखवाड़े बिजली नदारद रहती थी। वह 1989 का कोई दिन रहा होगा जब स्‍कूल की असेंबली लगी। विसर्जन के बाद कुछ लड़के गोल बनाकर एक कोने में खड़े होकर नारा लगाने लगे। मेरे लिए यह दृश्‍य अपरिचित था। नारा भी। जिज्ञासा शांत करने मैं उनके बीच पहुंचा तो पता चला कि एक दिन पहले मछोदरी के इलाके में कुछ बवाल हुआ था। उस वक्‍त तक दंगे का मतलब हम नहीं जानते थे।

ठीक-ठीक याद करूं तो याद आता है कि एक मित्र, जो आज बड़े कॉरपोरेट घराने में अधिकारी है, घटना का बखान कुछ यूं कर रहा था, ”ओ पार से मियंवन चिल्‍लात रहलन अल्‍लाह-ओ-अकबर… हमहनो अपने छत पे खड़ा हो गइली। हमार भइया कहलन बोलो बेटा जय श्री राम। बड़ी मजा आयल ओकरे बाद। नारा लगावे क कंपटीसन भयल पूरे दिन।” बनारस की गलियों में रहने वाला पांचवीं का छात्र वैसे तो दुनियादारी में कई के कान काट सकता है, लेकिन ये 1989 था जब नादानियां पर्याप्‍त बची हुई थीं। हमें लग रहा था कि मामला महज नारे की प्रतिस्‍पर्धा का है।

दिन में जब साढ़े बारह बजे के आसपास हमें मैदान में जुटने को कहा गया, तब माजरा थोड़ा खुला। डीएम के आदेश से अचानक स्‍कूल की छुट्टी कर दी गई। शहर में कर्फ्यू लग चुका था। हमें सीधे घर जाने को कह दिया गया। जिसका घर सीधे हो, वो सीधे घर जाए। मेरे सामने समस्‍या खड़ी हो गई। बाहर निकला तो सारा यातायात बंद पड़ा था। सुबह भीड़ से बजबजाती सड़कों पर दोपहर एक बजते-बजते दृश्‍य बदल चुका था। स्‍कूल का एक रिक्‍शावाला बच्‍चों को लेकर जा रहा था। आग्रह करने पर उसने बैठा लिया इस शर्त के साथ कि कैंट रेलवे स्‍टेशन तक छोड़ देगा। उसे भी नहीं पता था कि हालात क्‍या हैं और क्‍यों हैं। सिगरा थाने से आगे बढ़ने पर फातमान रोड की ढलान पर उसने अचानक रिक्‍शे में ब्रेक मारा और उतर कर जाने कहां झुटपुटे में खो गया।

अपनी मस्‍ती में खोए बच्‍चों के सामने ढलान का दृश्‍य किसी दु:स्‍वप्‍न से कम नहीं था। कुछ लोग हाथों में तलवार लिए एक लुंगीधारी को दौड़ा रहे थे। करीब पांच मिनट बाद वे जाने कहां गायब हो गए। दृश्‍य बदला और रिक्‍शेवाला नमूदार हुआ। धीरे-धीरे सड़क सूंघते हुए उसने आखिरकार मुझे इंगलिशिया लाइन के पास छोड़ा। कैंट की ओर बढ़ते हुए देखा कि ट्रकों की कतार लगी थी। इस पार से उस पार एक सिक्‍कड़ बांधकर ट्रकों को रोक दिया गया था। पुलिस चाक-चौबंद थी। कोई और रास्‍ता न मिलने पर मैं ट्रकों के नीचे-नीचे होता हुआ कतार की सबसे पहली ट्रक के पार पहुंच गया जहां कैंट स्‍टेशन की ओर जाने वाला गलियारा खुलता था। स्‍टेशन के सारे प्‍लेटफॉर्म पार कर के पीछे चर्च की ओर निकला और उसके बाद बिना रुके लगातार पांडेपुर तक मैंने पैदल मार्च कर दिया।

उस दिन घर पहुंचने में चार घंटे लगे थे। घर मने चौबेपुर, जहां मैं रहता था। वरुणापार पांडेपुर का इलाका उस वक्‍त तकरीबन देहात ही माना जाता था। वहां कर्फ्यू का असर तब तक नहीं पहुंचा था। इसलिए टैम्‍पू, ट्रैक्‍टर सब चल रहे थे। यह आपदा प्रबंधन में मेरा पहला व्‍यावहारिक प्रशिक्षण था। अगला दिन बनारस के समकालीन इतिहास में पहले सबसे बड़े दंगे का पहला दिन था। खूब कत्‍लेआम हुआ। स्‍कूल खुलने के बाद दोस्‍तों ने बाद में बताया कि मदनपुरा, लल्‍लापुरा आदि इलाकों में मुसलमानों को घर से खींच-खींच कर मारा गया था। केवल एक दंगे ने हम सब को अचानक बड़ा कर दिया था। हम जान गए थे कि नारे दंगों की आहट होते हैं।

1989 से 1992 तक बनारस में सात बड़े दंगे हुए और तकरीबन इतनी ही बार कर्फ्यू लगा। इस बीच अयोध्‍या में कोई दंगा नहीं हुआ। मेरठ-मलिआना से लेकर भागलपुर वाया बनारस जब दंगों की आग में जल रहे थे उस वक्‍त अयोध्‍या, जहां कभी युद्ध नहीं हुआ, अयोध्‍या ही बनी रही। 6 दिसंबर, 1992 को जब मस्जिद गिरी, उस दिन इतवार था। बनारस के लिहाज से हम पर्याप्‍त बड़े हो चुके थे। बाबरी विध्‍वंस के दौरान लगे कर्फ्यू के बाद जब स्‍कूल खुला, तो मेरे दोस्‍तों की नादानी जा चुकी थी। वे इस बारे में बात कर रहे थे कि मुसलमान पलट कर जवाब देंगे या नहीं। एक सहपाठी, जो बाद में आइआइटी का टॉपर बना और आजकल कहीं आइपीएस तैनात है, उसने कहा था, ”मियंवन को एतना मारा गया है कि अब वो बाहर निकलने की हिम्‍मत नहीं करेंगे।”

उसकी यह बात सही थी। बानबे से पचीस साल बीत गए, कबीर के करघे से बनारस के जुलाहों ने अपना गला घोंट लिया लेकिन आज तक एक शब्‍द नहीं कहा। 1989 के पहले दंगे के बाद मुसलमानों के पलायन और जहालत का जो सिलसिला कायम हुआ, वह 1992 में बाबरी विध्‍वंस के साथ जाकर पूरा हुआ। वे सूरत चले गए। वे बंगलोर-मंगलोर चले गए। मदनपुरा की गद्दियां सूनी हो गईं। एकाध बार मुर्रीबंद की खबरें आईं, लेकिन उसे हिंदू व्‍यवसायियों ने छलबल से निपटा दिया। बनारस की समूची अर्थव्‍यवस्‍था जो मुस्लिम बुनकरों पर टिकी थी, उसे दंगे और एनजीओ चाट गए। बनारसी साड़ी के कारोबार में लगे बुनकरों ने खुदकुशी शुरू कर दी। उधर भदोही में रगमार्क के विदेशी कारोबार के हित बाल अधिकार की आड़ में नोबेल विजेता कैलाश सत्‍यार्थी ने कालीन उद्योग का सत्‍यानाश कर डाला। इस समूची अवधि में अयोध्‍या, अयोध्‍या ही बनी रही। बनारस तबाह हो गया। पूर्वांचल बरसों पीछे चला गया।

बनारस से अयोध्‍या को देखना

जिन्‍होंने 1992 का उन्‍मादी भूकंप देखा है, वे गवाही देंगे कि इस का असर अयोध्‍या पर उतना नहीं पड़ा जितना बनारस या कहें समूचे पूर्वांचल पर पड़ा। जहां भूकंप आता है, वहां के बारे में एक वैज्ञानिक सिद्धांत है कि उसका स्रोत कहीं और होता है। दूसरा सिद्धांत यह है कि भले भूकंप की जगह पर सबसे ज्‍यादा तबाही होती हो, लेकिन लंबी अवधि में उसका सबसे बुरा असर उन जगहों पर होता है जहां भूगर्भीय प्‍लेटों के बीच टकराहट सबसे ज्‍यादा होती है, दरारें यानी फॉल्‍ट लाइनें जहां सबसे तीखी होती हैं। अयोध्‍या में 6 दिसंबर 1992 को जो भूकंप आया था, उसका फोकस यानी स्रोत बनारस था। आज 25 साल बाद हम देखते हैं कि लंबी अवधि में बाबरी विध्‍वंस का सबसे बुरा असर भी पूर्वांचल पर ही वाया बनारस पड़ा है।

उस वक्‍त एक नारा दिया जाता था, ”अयोध्‍या तो झांकी है, काशी मथुरा बाकी है।” इसका क्‍या मतलब था? क्‍या इसे इस रूप में समझा जा सकता है कि जैसे अयोध्‍या में बाबरी मस्जिद गिरायी गई, वैसे ही बनारस में ज्ञानवापी मस्जिद गिरा दी जाएगी? आज की तारीख में यह सोचना भी हास्‍यास्‍पद है। बनारस का प्रोजेक्‍ट 16 मई 2014 को पूरा हो चुका है। एक बहुलतावादी, अविमुक्‍त, मोक्षदायिनी, पंथनिरपेक्ष और सह-अस्तित्‍ववादी सनातनी स्‍पेस को हिंदू वोटबैंक में तब्‍दील करने की प्रक्रिया पूरी हो चुकी है। हिंदुओं की आस्‍था के नाम पर हिंदुओं के साथ जो सबसे बड़ा खिलवाड़ हुआ है, बाबरी उसका प्रतीक है।

मेरे बचपन के दोस्‍त अब बनारस में नहीं रहते। मेरे कॉलेज के दोस्‍त भी बनारस से निकल लिए। मैं भी दिल्‍ली चला आया। ज़ाहिर है, वे सब हिंदू थे। अगर कोई 1992 के बाद 25 साल में बनारस और समूचे पूर्वांचल से पलायन के आंकड़े खोजकर ले आए तो उसका मैं आभारी रहूंगा। जो बनारस तीस साल पहले दर्जन भर कॉनवेन्‍ट स्‍कूलों में सैकड़ों भविष्‍य की प्रतिभाओं को पाल रहा था, वहां इन प्रतिभाओं को पेट भरने की ज़मीन नहीं मिली क्‍योंकि क्षेत्र की परंपरागत अर्थव्‍यवस्‍था बाबरी विध्‍वंस का शिकार हो गई। दंगों का दौर गया तो अपराध का दौर आया। दंगों से खाली हुए लंपट कारसेवकों के पास और कोई काम नहीं था। याद पड़ता है कि सांप्रदायिक तनाव की धूल बैठ जाने के बाद 1996-1998 के बीच शहर के थानों की दीवारों पर जो टॉप टेन अपराधियों की सूची शाया होती थी, उनमें पूर्व कारसेवकों की ठीकठाक संख्‍या थी। यही वह दौर था जब शहर में ताबड़तोड़ हत्‍याएं, फिरौती, एनकाउंटर हुए। मध्‍यवर्गीय हिंदू मां-बाप अपने बच्‍चों को शहर से निकालने की जुगत में नोएडा और हैदराबाद के कॉलेजों की ओर देखने लगे। बिलकुल इसी दौर में आइआइटी और मेडिकल की कोचिंगों की फसल लहलहायी। बीएचयू में गोली चली और साइन डाइ हुआ, तो वहां पढ़ना असुरक्षित हो गया। एक पूरी की पूरी हिंदू पीढ़ी पूर्वांचल से पलायन कर गई। क्‍यों? सिर्फ इसलिए क्‍योंकि मुसलमान, जो यहां की अर्थव्‍यवस्‍था की रीढ़ थे, वे खुद पलायन या खुदकुशी को मजबूर हो चुके थे और हिंदू हितों के कथित संरक्षकों की निगाह में यह कोई सामाजिक संकट नहीं था।

पिछले लोकसभा चुनाव में बड़े-बड़े विश्‍लेषकों को समझ में नहीं आया था कि गोरखपुर से लेकर प्रतापगढ़ तक समूचे पूर्वांचल में भारतीय जनता पार्टी को इतनी ज्‍यादा सीटें क्‍यों आईं। वे 2014 के चुनाव को एक ईवेंट के तौर पर देख रहे थे। बिलकुल वैसे ही जैसे आज बाबरी विध्‍वंस की पचीसवीं बरसी पर भी जानकार लोग उसे 1992 के एक ईवेंट के तौर पर देख रहे हैं। पहले 1992 को 1989 से काटा गया। फिर 2014 को 1992 से काट दिया गया। जनता सौ कदम आगे बढ़ गई। जनता के कथित बौद्धिक नुमाइंदे जहां थे, वहीं रह गए। नतीजा यह हुआ कि कबीर, रैदास, राहुल सांकृत्‍यायन, प्रेमचंद, जयशंकर प्रसाद, धूमिल, देबब्रत मजूमदार, काशीनाथ सिंह और आरएसएस को बरसों पहले सैद्धांतिक चुनौती देने वाले स्‍वामी करपात्रीजी महाराज की तैयार की हुई यह बहुलतावादी सांस्‍कृतिक ज़मीन नरेंद्र मोदी नाम के एक नेता ने हड़प ली।

क्‍या यह कथित सौ करोड़ हिंदुओं और उनकी हिंदू विभूतियों के साथ विश्‍वासघात नहीं है? इस विश्‍वासघात की ज़मीन 1989 में तैयार हुई थी जिस पर 2014 में पलस्‍तर चढ़ाकर रंगरोगन कर दिया गया है। लोकसभा चुनाव से पहले मेरे प्रवासी बनारसी मित्र जो बनारस के नाम पर नाक-भौं सिकोड़ते थे, वे आज नरेंद्र मोदी के कारण इस शहर के साथ दोबारा आइडेंटिफाइ होना चाहते हैं। वे बखूबी जानते हें कि बनारस अब भी लौटने लायक नहीं है। वे बखूबी जानते हैं कि राम मंदिर आस्‍था का मामला नहीं है और शायद वह कभी नहीं बने। बन भी गया तो अपनी बला से। इसके बावजूद वे ‘जय श्री राम’ का नारा दोबारा लगा रहे हैं। उसी नादानी या बचपने में नहीं, जैसी 1989 में उनके भीतर होती थी। इस बार उसमें नई समझदारी है। वे इस नारे की राजनीतिक ताकत को समझ रहे हैं। एक के परिवार में विधायक है, दूसरे के परिवार में पार्षद, तीसरे के परिवार में भाजपा का पदाधिकारी, चौथे के परिवार में भाजपा का लाभार्थी ठेकेदार। फेहरिस्‍त लंबी है जय श्री राम के लाभार्थियों की। यह आस्‍
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 20th December 2017 06:26
Nilim Dutta on BJP Victory

How or why could Modi/BJP win again in Gujarat in spite of 22 years of continuous misgovernance, which has left all human development and economy in shambles?

Let me explain.

On 6 December 2017, exactly 25 years after Hindu terrorists demolished the Babri Masjid, Shambhu Lal Regar, a Hindu terrorist lured an unsuspecting Muslim labourer, Mohammed Afrazul, to a plot of land he owned on the pretext of some work, and then hacked him to death with a pickaxe and burned down the body. He had the entire grisly attack recorded on video on a cellphone by his minor nephew and then posted it on social media, along with videos of malicious rants against Muslims.

Where this horrific killing took place is also worth noting: Rajasthan, a state under BJP rule and where a number of killings of Muslims by “gau-rakshak” thugs had preceded this killing.

Shambhu Lal Regar is no mentally unbalanced killer and the killing is no random spontaneous killing. He did not know Afrazul personally or had any reason to be provoked by him, apart from being a Muslim. It wasn’t a crime committed in the heat of the moment. Shambhu Lal Regar had called Afrazul on his mobile on 5 December itself. He called him again on the morning of 6 December and lured him to his death. It was a cold premeditated act of terrorism to strike terror into the hearts of Muslims in Rajasthan, particularly migrant Bengali Muslim labourers who came to work there from West Bengal. Furthermore, Shambhu Lal Regar had also posted a video with his bank account details soliciting donations to “finance” his terrorist campaign against Muslims.

Three days later, on 9 December 2017, Gujarat went to polls as its first phase of voting took place.

Reportedly, 516 people from across India donated approximately Rs. 300,000 into his account within days. Messages soliciting money for Regar’s family was vigorously circulated on social media.

On 14 December, Hindu terrorists openly staged a demonstration in support of Shambhu Lal Regar and clashed with police. The telling image was that of such a terrorist atop the main entrance of the District & Sessions Court, Udaipur, waving a bhagwa, just as polling in Gujarat ended with the conclusion of the second & final phase of voting.

Four days later, on 18 December 2017, votes were counted and BJP once again rode back to power, although with reduced number of seats, in spite of 22 years of misgovernance and subversion of democracy in every manner.

But we did not reach here overnight, or only after Modi got elected as the Prime Minister of India in 2014. This road to self-destruction began long ago.

For decades, RSS and its hydra heads spread its roots through “social work” into communities that anyway received little in terms of access to services that the state was supposed to provide. These organisations organized religious and cultural events, helped in times of natural calamities, and earned legitimacy within the communities. Most importantly, they established schools and provided education. While doing so, it also insidiously injected vile communalism and Hindutva ideology, playing on the insecurities and latent anti-Muslim prejudices of many ordinary Hindus and nurturing and organizing those into more potent forms.

Much of this happened under the watch of the Congress at the Center and States. What shouldn’t be forgotten is that the Congress didn’t play the role of passive non-action, but actively collaborated with the proponents of Hindu Rashtra.

Who opened up the Babri Masjid to allow Hindu Rashtra proponents to worship inside the Babri Masjid in 1986? Rajiv Gandhi and Arun Nehru. Who was the Chief Minister in UP? Bir Bahadur Singh of the Congress.

Who allowed the foundation stone for a temple to be laid inside Babri Masjid, in violation of court orders, in 1989? Rajiv Gandhi and Arun Nehru. Who was the Chief Minister in UP? N.D. Tiwari of the Congress. In fact, Buta Singh, Union Home Minister and N.D. Tiwari, Chief Minister of UP, were both present for the laying of the foundation stone.

On 9 November 1989 Congress allowed Vishwa Hindu Parishad to lay foundation stine for a Ram Temple in the Babri masjid premises and in the general Elections for the 9th Lok Sabha on 22 & 26 November 1989, BJP for the first time ended up winning 86 seats and became a political force to recon with.

If this wasn’t enough, one should not forget that the Hashimpura Massacre of Muslims in UP and the Bhagalpur Riots in Bihar had been inflicted under the watch of the Congress in center as well as the states.

Shortly after its spectacular rise in the Lok Sabha, BJP won a State Assembly Election in June 1991, winning 221 seats out of 425 in the UP Assembly Election for the first time and formed the government.

Barely one and a half years later, with a BJP Government in UP, and a Congress government at the Center, on 6 December 1992, the Babri Masjid was demolished with complicity of the closet Hindu Rashtra that the Indian state had become under Congress and BJP.

It was an act of terrorism for which the RSS/BJP and all its affiliates should have been banned and its leaders and members prosecuted under India’s terror laws and convicted for long terms in prison, if not hanged to death. Instead, every individual and institutions in the highest echelons of the government not only treated them with velvet gloves but actually legitimized their terrorist ideology to let one of them rise to become India’s Prime Minister 22 years later.

BJP won its second state in 1995 in Gujarat, and has held on to it ever since. The only spectacular achievement of the BJP/Modi in Gujarat has been the pogrom of Muslims in 2002 for which he became the “Hindu Hriday Samrat”.

For 10 years, from 2004 to 2014, Congress again headed the Central government in Delhi. Instead of cracking down on Hindu terrorism of the RSS/BJP, it pussyfooted and allowed this monster to grow. The instances are just too numerous to recount when it could have acted but didn’t.

And we are too celebrate that in yet another election the Hindu terrorists won 99 seats, less than it had won previously, and that Congress under Rahul Gandhi had bettered its tally? Shouldn’t these Hindu terrorists be in prison rather than contesting elections and forming governments?

THIS is the reason why a Shambhu Lal Regar can kill a Muslim with impunity, post gruesome video of the killing on social media, and even solicit for more funds to finance his terrorist campaign. THIS is the reason why Hindu terrorist supporters actually donated him money. THIS is also the reason why BJP/Modi yet again won an election in Gujarat.

Congress had allowed RSS/BJP to create and nurture an environment where killings of Muslims was not only legitimized, but also celebrated and glorified. A Modi or a RSS chief may not have directly ordered Shambhu Lal Regar to kill Afrazul, but he certainly felt emboldened to do so, and even considered himself a hero for doing so for the “enabling environment” of the perceived Hindu Rashtra that these Hindu terrorists have created and vigorously nurtured. This is exactly similar to radicalized Muslims with no direct connection to Islamic State carrying out terrorist attacks on civilians by driving a truck into a crowd or carrying out mass shooting or stabbing attacks.

Because there are Hindu terrorist supporters who readily contributed to Shambhu Lal Regar’s appeal for donations to finance his terrorist campaign against Muslims, there would also be substantial number of such terrorist supporters who would vote for BJP. It matters not what hardships they faced due to demonetization or due to messing up the economy so long as India can be turned into a Hindu Supremacist State.

Because the Congress had been a complicit ally in this project, it can never be the political force to defeat these fascists. Congress’ insidious soft Hindutva cannot be the alternative to BJP’s brazen genocidal Hindutva.

We Dalit-Bahujan-Adivasis together form the most substantial numerical majority in India, of 68% of its population. The onus is on us to build the formidable political force which would defeat these fascist forces and reclaim the Republic. Whether elections alone can accomplish this, I will not state now.

There are many well-meaning people who support the Congress against the BJP. My appeal to them is to read this and engage with these facts with reason and logic and explain to me how could a Congress, with this disturbing history, be the alternative to the BJP?
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 20th December 2017 12:07

20 December 2017
Non-Resident Hindus Hating Muslims

Why Does Hindu Diaspora In Developed Multicultural Countries Hate Minorities Back Home In India?
The Hindu diaspora has been taking keen interest in electoral politics, supporting and financing the ‘Hindutva’ candidates in elections in India.

Ashok Swain
Why Does Hindu Diaspora In Developed Multicultural Countries Hate Minorities Back Home In India?

India has the largest migrant population living abroad. With its increasing size, the influence of Hindu diaspora has taken a leap in the last two decades. Hindu migrants have not only become economically powerful but also politically influential in the West.

In recent years, they have been in the forefront of fighting legal battles against McDonald for using beef fat to fry its chips, against the use of Hindu icons on items being sold by Western companies and even over the contents of history text books in some states in the USA.
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While this professionally successful Hindu diaspora has been extremely protective and highly combative about its own rights as a minority group in the West, at the same time it has been actively supporting majoritarian Hindu chauvinism in home country India. It is a big puzzle that Hindus abroad organize themselves to protect their ‘minority rights’ in their host countries, but also use that mobilized strength to support and promote minority-hating majoritarian politics in India.

The Hindu diaspora has been taking keen interest in electoral politics, supporting and financing the ‘Hindutva’ candidates in elections in India.

Thousands of Gujarati NRIs had come from the USA and UK to campaign for BJP in the recent Gujarat election. Why are Hindus living abroad as a minority invariably hold anti-minority views in the context of Indian politics? I have been trying to find an answer to this question for years, but has not been successful yet.

As a member of that Hindu diaspora this phenomenon is furthermore puzzling for me. Why does the Hindu diaspora with the experiences of living in multi-cultural developed democracies as a minority support rabid majoritarian ideology in its home country?
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Not only in social media, but several Hindus living abroad often ask me, being a Hindu why do I despise Hindutva politics in India. It is true that I am not an atheist, rather a temple-going practicing Hindu.

Being from upper caste group, I had never experienced caste oppression in my village to hold an anti-Hindu view, rather had received benefits of caste hierarchy. Growing up in coastal Odisha several decades back, I did not have even the luxury of growing up in a multi-religious environment.

Moreover, when I have interacted with members of the RSS and its affiliates, they have been always courteous, and in many cases, quite helpful. Over and above, I am not, nor pretend to be an idealist. So, it is not that only others ask, I even sometimes wonder why do I abhor the political mobilization of Hindus by the Sangh Parivar in India? The only explanation for this fear and dislike for Hindu majoritarian mobilization is as I can see due to my almost three-decade long experience of living as a minority in Sweden.

A racial or religious diaspora group is always a minority. It does not matter in which country you live and what you do. Sweden is certainly one of the better countries for any minority. It has all the legal and institutional frameworks needed to protect and support people of any race, religion, and gender.
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Still minority is a minority, even if it is in Sweden. Culture, society and market have their own preferences and biases. In 2009, when Swedish government implemented random ID checks by security forces at public places to identify people living illegally in the country, a North-African origin Swedish author Jonas Hassen Khemiri had written a very moving open letter to Swedish Minister of Justice, telling her to borrow his ‘skin’ for a day and go out to experience racial profile by the police. It is impossible for someone from a majority community to comprehensively grasp the plethora of predicaments minorities face even in a democratic, developed and liberal country.

It does not matter if a minority is well integrated or assimilated or has achieved professional successes. Integrating to the dominant culture in society or achieving professional success helps when you are in a familiar surrounding only.

When a racist thug decides to attack a Hindu immigrant, he or she will not ask to see migrant’s passport or job contract or language proficiency. For that majoritarian bigot, the look of a minority is good enough.
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Some years back, an Indian origin academic decided to throw a party in his office to celebrate his new European passport. An African colleague took him aside, told him politely, you enjoy now as much as you want to, but never come to believe that skinheads will start respecting you in subways because of your changed citizenship status. Whether Hindu diaspora accepts it or not, it is a minority anywhere in the world, and not treated at par with ‘sons of soil’.

Of course, some diaspora groups are more accepted than the others at some point of time and that social status is not static.

A couple of years back, I was in a London cab for a long ride. The cab driver kept talking to me how immigrants have ruined his country. I was increasingly getting nervous, but later he made it clear to me that the Poles are target of his ire and ‘my’ Indians are good immigrants.

A big improvement for the status of being called as a ‘Paki’ in the UK in the recent past, but who knows for how long and how deep is this change of perception. Hindu diaspora, which was under the illusion of being respected by Americans in the past, are experiencing now a drastic value-fall of their group after Trump mania engulfed that country.
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For a Hindu immigrant, the minority insecurity is a must in any host country, whether he or she belongs to the so-called good or bad diaspora group and the host country enjoying relative economic and political stability or not.

If not in job market or at work place, Hindus abroad get it while buying or renting a house outside the designated ghettos or shopping in a mall or eating in a restaurant.

If nowhere else, airport security will make it sure for the diaspora to get it in regular doses. So, if anyone who should really be able to understand the customary harassment and psychological pains inflicted on a minority community in India, it is the Hindu diaspora, which has the experiences of being a minority in the country of its residence.

More so, Hindu diaspora has not migrated abroad from India because to survive a minority dictatorship or a civil war and carries the burden of reactionary memories.

Hindu diaspora has become a major powerbase and source of funding for the Hindutva politics in India. Even many of their associations have been raising money to support radical Hindu organizations to wage violence against religious minorities, including Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.
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While Hindu NRIs are so sensitive and even aggressive to protect their perceived minority rights in the country of their residence, at the same time they refuse to accept minorities in India, who are even the sons and daughters of the soil.

Thus, I continue to fail to understand, why Hindu diaspora, who itself suffers from being a minority in its host country, is taking this rabid anti-minority position and enthusiastically supports majoritarian Hindutva forces in India. Hopefully, someone can find answer to this soon.

(The writer is professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, Sweden).
Source : OutLook
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd December 2017 10:23
India needs to quell the communal demon

December 16, 2017 09:54 IST

'Indian nationhood is indeed at the cusp of alarming redefinition -- hate-filled, and exclusionary.'
'Nations are not built this way, instead these are the ways of liquidating nations.'
'We must pre-empt it.'

'Can we?' asks Mohammad Sajjad.

The growing hatred and violence against Muslims and the spectacularly video-graphed circulation thereof, in the India of today, has acquired an ominous frequency.

It is increasingly making us inured, as such barbarity becomes the new normal.

Does it have an explanation, at least partly, in our history, and history-writing?

History rarely repeats itself. Nevertheless, if we are to understand what is happening in the polity today, it is useful to look into the past.

Today's India, witnessing powerful and aggressive majoritarian chauvinism, has some eerie resemblance with what was happening between 1938 and 1946, under the colonial regime.

Part of the reason of the hatred against Muslims in contemporary India is the way in which the causes of India's Partition have been explained, and popularised through government textbooks.

Too much guilt and villainy has been placed on the Muslim League which has been read by deleting the suffix, 'League'.

In the last few decades, research emerged exposing majoritarian communalism within the lower Congress, and outside it, where it was assertively articulated by the Hindu Mahasabha-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh post 1938.

But the question is: How many Left-controlled/dominated academic journals in India even reviewed such works?

In fact, such expositions have been almost proscribed, censored, ignored.

Even the Indian History Congress did not include any such work in its award-winning lists.

On the other hand, the one reiterating Muslim separatism (Venkat Dhulipala's Creating A New Medina, 2015), has been given too much of media hype and lauded by the liberal-Left historians of India's major cities.

Today, the liberal-Left segment of scholars and opinion writers also need to subject themselves to self-introspection on this count and to revisit Partition historiographies.

If one cares to look at the political developments in various provinces post 1924 and post 1938, it clearly emerges that as the Muslims began to register their rising representation in local bodies and provincial councils, the Hindu-Muslim tussle in these domains of emerging power structures started becoming prominent.

This is what happened more clearly in Bihar, post 1924. The tallest builders of the Congress began to be marginalised. Mazharul Haq, Shafi Daudi, etc were systematically pushed out of the district boards in the late 1920s leaving them disillusioned.

After 1938 this trend started taking an ominous shape.

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The Muslim League accused the Congress ministries in various provinces in 1937 to 1939 to having resorted to the persecution of Muslims, and letting off rioters.

No less than three catalogues were prepared by the Muslim League in 1938 -- the Pirpur report, the Sharif report and the Fazlul Haq report. With this, the League progressed leaps and bounds between 1938 and 1946.

Isn't it puzzling that we do not hear of a similar list of Hindu grievances in the Muslim 'majority' provinces, catalogued by the Hindu communal forces, accusing the 'Muslim' ministries of those provinces, such as Bengal's Krishak Praja Party, Punjab's Unionist Party, and Assam's Saadullah ministry?

This was unlike the Suhrawardy ministry of 1946 when his culpability over the orgy of violence and killing in Bengal unambiguously existed, creating much anger among Hindus, so much so that it had its retaliatory implications in Bihar.>/p>

The question therefore is: Were those catalogues of 1938 actually as unreal (or exaggerated) as we have so far been given to believe, even by our liberal Left historians?

Is their dismissive-ness, popularised much through popular textbooks, buttressed by the argument that the offer of an inquiry into those grievances by Justice Gwyer was rejected by the Muslim League, and hence the fictionality of those grievances stood testified?

Or, is it a case like today, when the 'nationalist' forces want us to believe that instances of frequent lynching and other such persecution are isolated incidents; that they should not be exaggerated to discredit the incumbent BJP regime; and that the BJP should not be accused of being complicit in creating an atmosphere of fear among the minorities?

Let us recall that the Muslim League was routed in the 1937 elections despite the fact that seats were reserved for Muslims under the arrangement of separate electorates.

Yet, soon after the formation of the Congress ministries fear emerged among the minorities, and the Muslim League could register a rise in its political fortunes after 1938.

There is evidence that many Congress Hindus demonstrated that a 'Hindu Raj' had been restored in 1937, seven centuries after Prithviraj Chauhan was unseated in the 12th century.

Indian historians have paid less attention to the rapid growth and proliferation of the RSS-Hindu Mahasabha after 1938 in the nooks and crannies of India. There have been relatively fewer studies on the Congress-Mahasabha overlap at the provincial and district levels.

Joya Chatterjee's Bengal Divided (1995), William Gould's study of UP (2005), and Vinita Damodaran's (1992) and Papiya Ghosh's (2008) studies of Bihar are among the exceptions.

India's liberal-Left historians received Venkat Dhulipala's study of UP very warmly. It underlines Muslim separatism, just as Francis Robinson (Separatism Among Indian Muslims, 1974) had demonstrated four decades ago.

Whereas William Gould's book Hindu Nationalism and the Language of Politics in Late Colonial India was largely ignored, for it exposed the majoritarian tilts of the tallest Congress leaders of UP -- Purshottam Das Tandon (1882-1962), Sampurnanand (1891-1969), and Gobind Ballabh Pant (1887-1961).

It is surprising that Mohammed Ali Jinnah did not harp as much on these UP leaders while attempting to wean the Muslims away from the Congress and propping up the Muslim League.

Joya Chatterjee has demonstrated that in the 1930s, when Bengal's share-cropper peasantry turned into middle and rich peasantry, they gained franchise, and this is how Muslim representation began to increase in legislative and other arenas.

This is what alarmed the bhadralok who, in order to avert the ignominy of being politically dominated by the Muslim peasantry, slipped towards partitioning Bengal during 1932 to 1947.

Similarly, T C A Raghavan (Economic and Political Weekly, April 9, 1983) for western India, and Vinita Damodaran (Broken Promises, 1992) for Bihar, 1935 to 1946, have demonstrated how Hindus, both within and outside the Congress, moved towards majoritarianism as soon as the middle peasants of the Backwards, Harijans, and Muslims acquired affluence and franchise in the 1930s (particularly after the Gandhi-Ambedkar Poona Pact, 1932).

The peasant discontent was sought to be channelised into religious strife by the landlords.

Justice Reuben (1893-1976; ICS 1918) was not allowed to conduct inquiries into the 1946 riots of Bihar. Yet, India's best known liberal-Left historians, working on these aspects, plead ignorance about Reuben's inquiry.

Overall, both colonial and post-Independence Indian states have been palpably soft on rioters. There have been wilful failures of the criminal justice system in this regard.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

With this experience from history, let us now have a look on the developments immediately before 2014 when the BJP came to power with an unprecedented mandate.

In 2012, Muslim representation had gone up in the assembly and municipal bodies in Uttar Pradesh. Muslim representation in the legislative assembly was around 17% close to the Muslim population of 18.5%.

In municipal bodies, there were 3,681 elected Muslims out of a total of 11,816 members, pushing their representation to 31.5%.

This was seen as a 'Muslim upsurge' in Uttar Pradesh, perhaps partly foretelling Yogi Adityanath's rise to power.

In Bihar, where Muslims are 16.5% of the population, their representation among the panchayat chiefs has remained at around 16% since 2001.

In fact, the rise of the saffron forces since the 1980s has much to do with rising Muslim affluence because of Gulf remittances, and the benefits going to its Pasmandas after the implementation of the Mandal reservations in education and public employment, and subsequently into the local bodies as well, besides their entry into local small tradings.

In West Bengal, where Muslims are around 25%, the Hindu bhadralok through Communist rule resisted the temptation to join saffron forces by keeping most of the Pasmanda Muslim communities out of the OBC list till 2011.

Now with their inclusion as OBC, saffronisation of West Bengal is becoming much more visible.

An increasingly bigger segment of the Hindu population is now easily persuaded to be scared of the 'minority upsurge' by misleading them with the argument that, after all, for centuries the Muslims and then Christians (the British) ruled over Hindus despite being a numerical minority.

This oversimplification of a complex historical issue by the communal forces starts making sense to these segments.

This is how hate-mongering politics thrives.

Quite a lot of those now vocal for the BJP on social media belong to those segments.

They feel that because of the Mandal reservations they have not been able to hold on to their pre-eminent positions in education, trading and employment.

The post-liberalisation economy, rising youth unemployment and agrarian distress, have also affected them adversely.

This discontent is sought to be channelled against a demonised Muslims.

There is a growing grudge, scorn and disdain against the rising Muslim presence in all such spheres.

This is now degenerating increasingly into hatred and violence against them.

From urban confines, this has percolated down to rural hinterlands because in rural areas, too, the trading rivalries are sharpening as the kith and kin of the Gulf-based Muslim professionals have erected their trades in rural markets.

The lower class Muslims too have acquired affluence and education. Their presence is increasingly becoming more prominent through lofty masjids and lavish public demonstrations of festivities.

Even though in most cases such competitive public rituals and festivities have more to do with a statement of their coming of age vis-a-vis the historically dominant groups within their own community, and also to outdo the other/rival sub-sects (maslak; more specifically, the Barelvi versus the Deobandi/Tablighi Jamaat and Ahl-e-Hadis).

These are often mistaken as Muslim assertion against Hindus.

This explains the growing insecurity of the traditionally predominant groups of the religious majority, who are trying to counterpoise it through communal mobilisation around religious solidarities, by demonising, and by othering, the Muslims.

This is how the harmonious social fabric has been tattered, resulting in the rise of aggressive Hindutva.

Its resurrection began in the 1980s, and its claws remained less deadly in the 1990s and 2000s, in better parts of India, when the subordinated groups were coming of their age, dislodging the upper castes from power.

The Congress kept compromising with its core principles resulting in losing its support base and eventually getting discredited among almost every segment.

It had given up on Muslims in 1946 to the extent that despite repeated requisitions, the Congress did not even field its candidates from the Muslim seats.

Its lack of sincerity was evident even in its Muslim Mass Contact Campaign of 1938 which exacerbated the situation by alarming both the majority and minority communal forces -- the Mahasabha and the League.

However, unlike between 1938 and 1946, now, post-2014, no Jinnah can emerge with the promise of a separate homeland, as there is no limited franchise now, nor is there a colonial State. We now have universal adult franchise, with all its heterogeneities and stratifications.

Jinnah could outsmart the then regional, peasant-based political formations such as Bengal's Krishak Praja Party, Punjab's Unionist, and other smaller anti-separatist formations such as Bihar's Muslim Independent Party etc, only because less than 11% people of a particular class had franchise then.

Managing and consolidating them may have been easier for Jinnah, exacerbated by the prodding and encouragement from the colonial power.

Even though one may not deny today the power-play of the native and global capitalism of imperial powers in widening the rich-poor gap, which breed and perpetuate identity-based hatred and violence and polarisation.

Two historical moments may or may not find a close comparison. Yet, post-1938 colonial India, and post-2014 republican India, do have very disturbing resemblances.

This is also the alarming issue, that India's Muslims cannot remain 'disenfranchised', pitiably subdued and persecuted.

So, the desperate question is: What will come out of this situation when Muslims are being pushed against the wall?

Shall they remain electorally/politically invisibilised, irrelevant, silenced, subdued and subjugated, and yet demonised by the ruling party; and a liability for the 'secular' parties, as they are in Gujarat today?

Is it a case where only a silenced and subdued minority will satiate and please the communalised majority?

Indian nationhood is indeed at the cusp of alarming redefinition -- hate-filled, and exclusionary. It will validate all the ideas that were behind the vivisection of our country in 1947.

Nations are not built this way, instead these are the ways of liquidating nations.

We must pre-empt it.

Can we?

Professor Mohammad Sajjad is at the Centre of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh Muslim University.
He has published two books: Muslim Politics in Bihar: Changing Contours(Routledge, 2014); Contesting Colonialism and Separatism: Muslims of Muzaffarpur since 1857 (Primus, 2014)

source : Rediff
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